Argentina’s coast guard fired warning shots after a Chinese fishing vessel refused to cooperate with authorities on Saturday.
The coast guard opened fire after the vessel, Hua Xiang 801, was caught illegally fishing in Argentina’s exclusive economic zone, and verbal demands failed.
After three hours of pursuit and shooting, the Chinese ship still refused to cooperate – and even tried to collide with coast guard boats on several occasions. Hua Xiang 801 eventually escaped to international waters, where Argentina has no sovereign rights.
Hua Xiang 801 is likely belongs to fishery registered in eastern China’s Zhejiang province, according to Caixin’s research – a vessel named Hua Xiang 801 owned by the same company was sent to Peru for fishing last year, a government document showed.
This is not the first instance of illegal activity by Chinese fishing vessels in restricted territorial waters. In 2018, Argentina’s coast guard found Chinese vessel Jing Yuan 626 illegally fishing in its exclusive economic zone off the Patagonian coast. Before the vessel fled, the coast guard chased and fired at it for roughly eight hours.
Argentina’s coast guard said it has appealed for an international capture order to apprehend Hua Xiang 801.