News / Asia

    US: China's Fishing Restrictions 'Provocative and Potentially Dangerous'

    FILE - Chinese marine surveillance ship Haijian No. 51 (C) sails near Japan Coast Guard vessels (R and L) and a Japanese fishing boat (front 2nd L) as Uotsuri island, one of the disputed islands, called Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China, is in the background, July 1, 2013.
    FILE - Chinese marine surveillance ship Haijian No. 51 (C) sails near Japan Coast Guard vessels (R and L) and a Japanese fishing boat (front 2nd L) as Uotsuri island, one of the disputed islands, called Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China, is in the background, July 1, 2013.
    The United States says Chinese moves to restrict fishing in contested waters of the South China Sea are a "potentially dangerous" escalation in the maritime dispute. Chinese authorities say the rules are well within their sovereign rights.

    China's Hainan province is now demanding that all foreign fishing vessels ask permission to enter more than half of the 3.5-million-square-kilometer South China Sea, where China is facing rival territorial claims by Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei.

    U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki says the new restrictions run counter to efforts to resolve the disputes multilaterally.

    "The passing of these restrictions on other countries' fishing activities in disputed portions of the South China Sea is a provocative and potentially dangerous act," said Psaki.

    Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying says there is nothing unusual about the new restrictions.

    "As a maritime nation it is normal and routine for China to make rules to regulate the conservation and management of maritime biological resources," said  Chunying.

    But Psaki says those regulations are without foundation.

    "China has not offered any explanation or basis under international law for these extensive maritime claims," she said.

    She says U.S. diplomats in Beijing have raised their objections with Chinese authorities as the restrictions may lead to confrontation in disputed waters.

    Vietnamese fishermen say they will ignore the new regulations. 

    Vo Van Trac, vice chairman of the Vietnamese Association of Fishery, told VOA's Vietnamese service that they will not be kept out of waters claimed by Hanoi.

    "The new rules will obviously have an impact on Vietnamese fishermen, who will keep fishing in areas of the South China Sea that are within Vietnamese sovereignty," he said.

    The United States and Indonesia have been working with Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei to resolve South China Sea disputes through the regional ASEAN alliance.  But China has continued to move unilaterally on the issue, despite promises to open talks on a code of conduct for those waters.

    The new fishing restrictions come at a time when many U.S. allies in the region are questioning Washington's commitment to its so-called "Asia Pivot" of U.S. commercial, diplomatic, and military resources to the Asia Pacific.

    "The U.S. should have been the one country who could have stepped in and said let's come to the table and figure this out. We've done nothing about that," said Michael Auslin, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. "So again I think that's why there are many in Washington and in the region who are skeptical about the Obama administration's real commitment to rebalancing to Asia."

    The fishing rules follow China's announcement last year of a new Air Defense Identification Zone over disputed waters in the East China Sea.  That zone has also drawn criticism from the United States as well as from Japan and South Korea.

    You May Like

    US Leaders Who Served in Vietnam War Look Back and Ahead

    In New York Times opinion piece, Secretary of State John Kerry, Senator John McCain and former Senator Bob Kerrey say as US strengthens relations with Vietnam, it is important to remember lessons learned from war

    Trans-Adriatic Pipeline to Boost European Energy Security

    $4.5 billion-pipeline will become operational in 2020 and will deliver gas from Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz II field to southern Italy

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Annual festival showcases the region's harvested agriculture, fine wines and offers opportunities to experience the gentle breeze in a hot air balloon flight

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora