The incident occurred when a Chinese fishing ship 'rammed' into the exploration cables of Viking 2, a vessel operated by Petro Vietnam (PVN), Vietnamese Foreign Ministry Affairs Nguyen Phuong Nga said at a regular press meeting.
The Chinese vessel deployed a 'cable cutting device' which got stuck in a net attached to the Vietnamese boat. Two other Chinese marine surveillance vessels arrived as back up.
The incident took place some 160 nautical miles off the south coast of Vietnam, 'well inside' Vietnam's 200-nautical-mile exclusive economic zone, Nga said.
"Gulf of Tonkin," anyone?