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July 27, 2017

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Vietnam releases video of Chinese ship ramming boat in disputed area

HANOI, Vietnam -- Vietnam released video footage Thursday showing a Chinese vessel steaming into the back of a Vietnamese fishing boat and tipping it over into waters close to where Beijing deployed a massive oil rig last month.

The video appears to confirm Vietnam's version of the clash in the South China Sea on May 26.

It was the most serious incident between ships from the two countries since the positioning of the rig on May 1 triggered fury in Hanoi and underlined Beijing's determination to assert its sovereignty claims in the oil- and gas-rich waters.

China last week said the Vietnamese fishing vessel sank after it rammed into a Chinese ship.

The footage, shot from another Vietnamese fishing vessel, shows the Chinese boat chasing two much smaller Vietnamese ones. It then hits the back of one of them, tipping it over.

"Look, it rammed and sank it" someone off camera shouts.

Other footage released Thursday then showed the hull of the sunken boat in the water. Vietnam previously said 10 fishermen had to be rescued from the seas, and the Chinese boat made no attempt to help.

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