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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Ships Attacked Near China

Vessels suspected to be Chinese have attempted to attack Russian freighters twice over the past two days, a Russian Navy spokesman said Wednesday.

An armed vessel sailing without a flag tried to approach the Russian transport ship Tobolsk on Wednesday in the East China Sea, according to spokesman Alexander Veledeyev. The Russian vessel did not stop and headed away at top speed.

"We cannot say for sure if it was Chinese", Veledeyev said. "Perhaps it was only a pirate ship".

The day before, another armed ship tried to approach the Russian transport ship Kovdar 160 miles southeast of Shanghai, Veledeyev said, adding that on that occasion the Russian ship had also steamed away.

Itar-Tass, quoting the ship's captain, said that the sailors aboard the oncoming vessel began changing into Chinese coast guard uniforms as they approached.

In a separate incident last week, a Chinese Navy ship forcibly boarded a Russian Soyuz-4 cargo vessel and forced it to dock in a Chinese port for four days.

The vessel was then released and Chinese officials apologized for the incident which took place 165 miles off the Chinese Coast.

Russia's first deputy commander of the Pacific Fleet, Igor Khmelnov, told Itar-Tass that the Chinese have been involved in 14 incidents with Russian crafts this year.

A Chinese Naval official in Moscow said last week that China's economic maritime zone extends 200 miles out to sea, and the country reserves the right to act upon any violations of its territory.