News / Asia

New Chinese Law Allows for Search, Expulsion of Foreign Ships

Chinese fishing boats sail in the lagoon of Meiji reef off the island province of Hainan in the South China Sea, July 20, 2012.
Chinese fishing boats sail in the lagoon of Meiji reef off the island province of Hainan in the South China Sea, July 20, 2012.
VOA News
China will soon allow border police to board and search foreign ships that enter what Beijing considers its territorial waters in the disputed South China Sea.

In a move likely to raise regional tensions, state media say police in the southern island province of Hainan will soon be authorized to "land on, check, seize, and expel foreign ships" that enter the area illegally.

The official China Daily says "illegal" activities include entering the province's waters without permission and "engaging in publicity that endangers China's national security." It says the new rules will take effect January 1.

Hainan, China's southernmost province, administers nearly two million square kilometers of the sea. In July, the Chinese military angered its neighbors by setting up a garrison in Hainan's newly established Sansha City, in an effort to enforce its claims in the region.

Many of China's rival claimants, which include the Philippines, Vietnam, Brunei, Malaysia and Taiwan, are concerned about what they see as Beijing's increasing assertiveness in defending its claims in the energy-rich South China Sea.

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hong Lei said in a regular briefing Thursday that China has the right to implement the new regulations.

"Carrying out maritime management according to law is the justified right of a sovereign country," said Hong.

The China Daily also said new maritime surveillance ships will soon join Beijing's South China Sea patrol fleet, which has been expanded following recent high-profile standoffs with the Philippines and Vietnam.

Meanwhile, the Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario on Thursday called on China to withdraw three ships from the site of an April standoff.

Del Rosario told ABS-CBN television that Beijing has not fulfilled its promise to remove its ships from the disputed Scarborough Shoal, as agreed by both countries six months ago.

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by: bean cube from: Seattle WA
December 01, 2012 1:03 AM
We, all Americans, can smell war selling. CIA, hiding behind US navy, can access all those oceans without being asked any tough questions. CIA can use a lot of QE money to foreclose a lot of Philippines small businesses and become Vietnam communist's new bosses, they shouldn't have concern about economic development because it won't happen when resources and capitals are all hijacked by selling wars.

by: Ed604 from: Canada
November 30, 2012 10:25 PM
China is doing exactly what other countries that considered themselves "superpowers" did in the past. This forum sounds like a bunch of bitter girls complaining about useless claims about law, history, or even bringing up Tibet in the topic. Italy doesn't reclaim lands of the foreign roman empire because they barely have any power (military, economy, etc) and the last time i heard they were about to go bankrupt. Natives can't take back North Ameria because they also dont have any power to do it. But you know what? China has more than enough power to control Tibet and the southern seas. If you haven't noticed most of the countries that are involved are equally as corrupt or even worse. I heard the Philipines has actors as presidents and I bet if Manny Pacquiao ran for president he would probably win too. India should worry about the liveilhood of their own people first considering that 60 percent literacy rate (40 percent can't read out of 1.1 billion).

Also for Japan to tell China to follow the rule of law is pretty funny. I wonder who sets the "rules" ? USA ? UK? France? Judging from all the chaos that is happening in Israel and Palestine I think it is pretty clear that whoever has the power makes the "rules" and unfortunately for Japan, they have no power, except maybe radiation.

Fact is the strong will be in control. The USA has done similar acts for years in South America, Africa, and other third world countries. China is just following the foot step of USA, England, and all the other super powers. So cry more about this everybody!

by: fds from: japan
November 30, 2012 7:58 PM
china's claims are based on history. japan's claims are based on law. that's why china doesn't won't go to the international court of justice. that's why china has so much corruption. that's why china's economy is stalling. china will never be a truly great country until it can follow the rule of law.

by: nick from: ny
November 30, 2012 6:39 PM
china likes to argue that "since historical times" tibet is theirs, the entire south asian seas are theirs, that this territory or that territory is theirs. i think italy should re-claim lands of the former roman empire and turkey should re-claim lands of the former ottoman empire. while we're at it, native americans should claim all of north and south america. china is a joke.

by: fuall17 from: China
November 30, 2012 6:27 PM
China = Hitler Germany

by: remie from: canada
November 30, 2012 6:24 PM
@nomnom, more proof chinese people are bias or brainwash. If so much ancient evidence please provide evidence to world. Chinese history is fable(lies) mix with arrogance NOT facts. I mean can u believe they claim ALL asians are chinese therefore it is their right to rule asia,and that is FACT.

by: NomNom
November 30, 2012 2:41 PM
I bet most people who write comments here don't even know what Eastern Asia exactly looks like. If you are interested in this topic and want to insist that China is the evil side in this game, please read some history. China's sovereignty over these oceans is based on historical evidence, and Japan, Vietnam, Philippine can not even deny it or prove it's wrong, so they just ignore the fact, and tell China to follow "international law". Chinese people discovered, lived, and ruled these seas and islands since thousands years ago, when Roman Empire still existed and most eastern asian countries were not born, and they want to use the "international law" which was created by modern western world to take Chinese territory which their ancestors left to them?

by: Wangchuk from: NYC
November 30, 2012 10:42 AM
The PRC has no legal authority in int'l waters, including South China Sea, to stop & board foreign vessels for any reason. This is yet another example of the hegemonistic attitude of the CCP/PRC that views China has the Middle Kingdom & all other Asian states as vassals. If the PRC illegally boards foreign vessels in int'l waters, then the navies of those vessels should escort them to protect them & prevent illegal actions by the PRC.

by: mhee from: Philippines
November 30, 2012 7:41 AM
Why this greedy new Chinese leader who doesn't even know English at all (needs interpreter) wants to own all the seas around the world.Stop calling the sea South China sea because its already West Philippine sea,period!

by: Samurai from: Japan
November 30, 2012 4:50 AM
Japanese Marine Safe officers in the Senkaku islands waters will soon be authorized to "land on, check, seize, and expel Chinese ships" that enter the area illegally every day. Coming Japanese administration will become more strict to Chinese outlaw ships.
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