According to reports, either on Monday or Tuesday an Argentinian Coast Guard vessel began pursuing a Chinese fishing ship, illegally fishing off its shores.
The conflict occurred off the shores of Puerto Madryn, Chubut province, in Argentina, located 907 miles (1,460 kilometers) south of Buenos Aires. It’s an area known for squid and the Chinese are known for having the largest distant water fishing fleet in the world – numbering over 2,000.
The Coast Guard ship pursued the Chinese vessel Lu Yan Yuan Yu 010 toward international waters, shooting warning shots across its bow and attempting to contact the captain over the radio. This is when things began to get interesting. According to a statement from the Argentinian Coast Guard:
“On several occasions, the offending ship performed maneuvers designed to force a collision with the coast guard, putting at risk not only its own crew but coast guard personnel, who were then ordered to shoot parts of the vessel.”
After repeated attempts to call the ship via radio and ask to board the ship, along with numerous warning shots, the Coast Guard vessel fired shots into the hull of the Lu Yan Yuan Yu 010. Crew members abandoned ship as their fishing trawler was going down. They were then rescued by the Coast Guard as well as another Chinese fishing ship that was following the chase.
There is no word yet if the fishing ship had any other reason for their hostile actions aside from they were knowingly breaking the law, illegally fishing in Argentinian waters.
This will be the first conflict President Mauricio Macri will have to deal with the Chinese over since he took office. His center-right government is a shift for Argentina after the presidency of leftist Cristina Fernandez, who worked to tighten relations with Beijing.
China continues to push for a stronger foothold in South America, traditionally the U.S.’s dominion. Marci ran on a message that he would review all of the contracts and business dealings that Fernandez had entered their nation into. However, that has so far not been the case.
One of the biggest deals that Argentina has with the Chinese is one worth upwards of $15 billion and includes building two nuclear power plants in the country.
Here is a helicopter video of the chase. Below is the Google Translated caption given by the Argentinian Navy:
PREFECTURE sank fishing CHINESE SHIP IN THE exclusive economic zone and rescued its crew will be detected as fully engaged in fishing and was warned to stop their march. Given the refusal of the offending vessel, a chase that ended with the sinking of the fishing began. His crew were rescued alive.The Coast Guard GC- 28 Prefect Derbes of Argentina Naval Prefecture (PNA) chased the vessel Lu Yan Yuan Yu 010 Chinese flag, which was detected when fishing illegally through Puerto Madryn (Chubut province ), within the Exclusive Argentina (ZEEA), a situation that was brought to the Ministry of Security Economic Zone. the process began yesterday when Prefecture observed in their radars Chinese fishing in full swing, so I was put into operation protocol deterrent to cease his departure and could be addressed by the crew of the Coast Guard. first repeated calls were made radiofrequency (in Spanish and English) and audible and visual signals were made to make contact with it. However, the vessel turned off its lights fishing and started fleeing sailing into international waters without answering permanent called by different frequencies in the maritime mobile service. Immediately, was put into operation the protocol for the protection of fish resources and the refusal of the ship to be boarded, threatening shots that also failed to arrest him were made. in this circumstance, through the monitoring system of the institution two other fishing vessels were detected in the vicinity of Lu Yan Yuan Yu 010. on several occasions the offending vessel performed maneuvers designed to collide Coast Guard Prefecture putting at risk not only the life of his own crew but also the staff of the institution, which was ordered to shoot to different sectors of the ship making cause you damage. in addition an aircraft Prefecture in support of the Coast Guard said. Finally, when the captain stopped sailing as the ship began to sink, the crew abandoned while the Coast Guard Prefecture approached to assist them . the Derbes rescued four crew members, including the captain, while the rest boarded one of the ships escorting him. Involved the Federal Court of First Instance of Rawson, by Dr. Hugo Ricardo Sastre, in turn Secretariat, Dr. Mariano Miquelarena and also was put on knowledge of the Foreign Ministry and the Chinese Consulate Argentina.
Will this lead to more friction in the region? Sound off in the comments below!