BEIJING China mentioned on Wednesday it had asked South Korea to make certain the safety of Chinese ships soon after South Korea’s navy fired warning shots at a Chinese vessel which crossed into waters disputed by North and South Korea.
The South Korean navy told Yonhap news agency it had fired 10 warning shots at a Chinese boat which it stated crossed the Northern Limit Line – a disputed inter-Korean maritime border on the west coast.
The ship was initially believed to be North Korean, but was later identified as Chinese, according to Yonhap.
“We are concerned about the relevant situation,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told a daily news briefing.
The Chinese embassy in South Korea has asked for a clarification of what happened, she mentioned, adding that it had not heard of any harm or injuries.
“We will continue to pay close interest to how the scenario develops and preserve in communication with South Korea, asking they make certain the safety of Chinese personnel and ships,” Hua stated, without giving other specifics.
The Northern Limit Ling is a disputed border exactly where a number of artillery and naval clashes have occurred in recent years.
Final year, a Chinese fisherman was killed in a South Korean coastguard operation to apprehend his vessel which was operating illegally off South Korea’s west coast.
South Korea’s coastguard regularly chases Chinese fishing boats out of its western seas and violence does occasionally take place.
A South Korean coastguard officer was stabbed to death by a Chinese fisherman in 2011 and the following year a Chinese fisherman died from injuries in a confrontation with the coastguard. That led to a Chinese government complaint.
(Reporting by Ben Blanchard Editing by Nick Macfie)