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

    Mother of IS Supporter: Son Was Peaceful, 'Role Model'

    Somali-American Abdirizak Mohamed Warsame pleaded guilty Thursday to charges of conspiring to provide material support to Islamic State militants

    Factions Shift as Civilians Die in Syrian War

    Scenario likely only to further confuse military situation on ground and potentially worsen humanitarian crisis that already has grown to epic proportions

    Presidential Hopefuls Woo Minorities, Evangelicals

    Four GOP candidates to speak at forum at Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortagei
    X
    February 12, 2016 7:31 PM
    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortage

    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Gateway to Mecca: Historical Old Jeddah

    Local leader Sami Nawar's family has been in the Old City of Jeddah for hundreds of years and takes us on a tour of this ancient route to Mecca, also believed to be the final resting place of Adam's wife, Eve.
    Video

    Video New Technology Aims to Bring Election Transparency to Uganda

    A team of recent graduates from Uganda’s Makerere University has created a mobile application designed to help monitor elections and expose possible rigging. The developers say the app, called E-Poll, will make Uganda's democratic process fairer. From Kampala, VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video Russia Bristles at NATO Expansion in E. Europe

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is meeting Friday with the head of NATO after the Western military alliance and the United States announced plans for the biggest military build-up in Europe since the Cold War. Russia has called NATO's moves a threat to stability in Europe. But NATO says the troop rotations and equipment are aimed at reassuring allies concerned about Russia as VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.