At least three fishing boats from Ly Son Island were attacked this month by Chinese crews that have moved into their traditional fishing grounds around the Hoang Sa (Paracel) islands.
Nguyen Chi Thanh, 32, a fisherman and owner of one of the boats, said he and his men were attacked and robbed on January 7, Tuoi Tre newspaper reported Tuesday.
Thanh said ten Chinese people swooped in piloting two speedboats, smashed his boat and made off with his most sophisticated equipment and a ton of fish.
Another boat, with 16 fishermen aboard, was attacked that same day by a Chinese coast guard ship.
The boat's captain, Le Tan, told the newspaper that men on board the Chinese vessel threatened his crew, smashed some of their fishing and communication equipment and stole the rest.
This second group of pirates also reportedly made off with their entire catch.
Tan estimates the assault will cost him around VND350 million (US$16,420).
He said the Chinese boat showed up in the evening of January 6. He decided to rush back to shore when he realized their intentions.
After a more than two hour pursuit, the Chinese boat dispatched a speed boat to board them.
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