Beijing claims almost all of the South China Sea as well as Hanoi both countries have a long tradition for using its maritime militia to defend its territory.
Currently The European Union estimates Vietnam’s maritime militia could be over 70,000. These trained militiamen take part in a range of missions, sometimes in cooperation with the Vietnamese navy. The missions include covert spying on Chinese military facilities and ships, and sometimes clashing with Chinese coastguard vessels.
Hanoi is building its fishing militia in the South China Sea in an open challenge to the current efforts from Beijing in dominating the highly disputed waterway.
It is well known that Vietnam claims parts of the south China sea but Beijing will not honor this claim and is even moving in on the Philippians waters
Vietnam has had long running tradition of using its fisher men army of “militia boats” to defend its waters, the same as china is known to do.
“Vietnam’s maritime militia force and their activities in waters near Hainan, the Paracel Islands and Spratly Islands have threatened China’s maritime law enforcement and national defense security, and must be taken seriously” Naval and Merchant Ships magazine reported.
In 2009 Vietnam passed a new legislation to authorize the local militia to conduct operations within the law in hopes of confronting and expelling the foreign vessels.
It has been estimated that 8,000 fishing boats and about 46,000 fishermen make up the Vietnam’s fishermen militia, when not fishing the militia takes part in convert missions like spying on Chinese fishing vessels.
“For China especially, the maritime militia was the precursor to the modern PLA Navy” said Collin Koh, of Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University.
Vietnam is not completely innocence the militia in 2014 held Chinas oil rig the HYSY-981 under siege the article from South China, disputes and missions like this have been going on from both sides for a long long time and it is only a matter of time before the situation grows out of control.