Mon, February 23, 2009
China > China & World > China-Russia friction over sunk ship

China says Russia's attitude on cargo ship incident "unacceptable"

2009-02-20 13:37:45 GMT2009-02-20 21:37:45 (Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

BEIJING, Feb. 20 (Xinhua) -- A Chinese Foreign Ministry official on Friday said that Russia's attitude on the sinking of a Chinese cargo ship in Russian waters is unacceptable.

Zhang Xiyun, director-general of the Department of European-Central Asian Affairs of the ministry, lodged representations Friday afternoon to Russian Minister Counselor to China Morgulov Igor in regards to the incident.

Zhang said that the attitude of the Russian Foreign Ministry expressed on Friday over the incident is "hard to understand and unacceptable" for China.

A Sierra Leone-flagged vessel named "New Star" sank off the waters near Russia's far-eastern port of Vladivostok on Sunday. Seven Chinese crew members were still missing.

Russia on Friday announced that it wrapped up the search for missing crew members of the cargo vessel. According to Itar-Tass news agency reports, a motorboat was found Wednesday at Pyotr Veliky Bay, but no one was on it.

Chinese Deputy Foreign Minister Li Hui Thursday summoned Russian ambassador Sergei Razov, urging Russian authorities to complete investigations into the incident as soon as possible and try its best to search for the missing crew members.

Li said China was shocked at and seriously concerned with the incident, expressing the country's strong dissatisfaction with Russian warship's firing at the civil cargo ship, Russia's insufficient rescue efforts to save drowning sailors and its failure to provide prompt investigation result to China although some details still need to be found out.

The Chinese government attaches great importance to the incident, and requires Russia to make thorough investigations to find out the causes of the incident and give China a "responsible feedback" as soon as possible, Li said.

China also requires Russia to properly settle rescued Chinese sailors and spare no efforts to help search for the missing crew members, he added.

Razov Sergey expressed regrets over the serious casualty in the incident. He said that relevant departments of the Russian government are investigating into the incident, and will inform the Chinese side of the result in time.

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