Last month, a woman surnamed Zhong was caught in the crossfire between Vietnam and China following the South China Sea ruling. As she was going through customs after flying to Ho Chi Minh City, a Vietnamese customs officer allegedly scrawled “Fuck You” on two of her passport pages containing a map of China with the infamous nine-dash line.
However, apparently her problems with Vietnamese officials did not end there. As Zhong wrapped up her trip through Vietnam on July 30th, she was held up by border staff, who demanded that she sign a statement saying that it was Thai officials who had defaced her passport, The Paper reports.
While the Chinese Consulate in Ho Chi Minh City did release a statement, saying that they are handling the situation and demanding that Vietnamese officials take action to punish whoever is responsible, it seems like Vietnam hasn’t addressed the situation.
Even with two workers from the Chinese Consulate accompanying Zhong to the airport, she was still detained. She was in Thailand not too long ago and Vietnamese officials reportedly pressured her to sign a statement saying that the “Fuck You” hadn’t been written by any Vietnamese official, but by Thai border officers. Furthermore, they refused to let her leave until she signed that statement.
Fortunately for Zhong, Liu Xiaolu, the captain of the Southern Airlines flight back to China heard about the situation and refused to leave the airport unless Zhong was on board the plane, The Paper reports.
After 30 minutes of negotiating, Zhong was finally allowed to board the plane and head back to China. It is unclear whether she signed the statement in the end.
Chinese netizens have praised the pilot’s action and once again condemned Vietnamese officials.
“They dared to write ‘Fuck you’ but are not owning up to what they did. Typical cowards!” @斯文的大相 wrote.
“The pilot is a hero,” @沉思录- wrote.
“Vietnamese custom officers are despicable,” @至真斋主 wrote.
Maybe tipping will make them more amicable?
By Sarah Lin
[Images via CCTV]