News / USA

    US: Chinese Fishing Regulations 'Provocative, Dangerous'

    South China Sea Territorial ClaimsSouth China Sea Territorial Claims
    x
    South China Sea Territorial Claims
    South China Sea Territorial Claims
    The United States is criticizing new Chinese provincial regulations that aim to restrict fishing by foreign vessels in disputed areas of the South China Sea.

    Under the rules passed by China's southernmost province of Hainan, all foreign fishing boats must seek permission before entering waters claimed by Beijing.

    The law, which went into effect January 1, covers more than half the 3.5 million square kilometer South China Sea, including parts claimed by the Philippines and Vietnam.

    U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Thursday the move will raise tensions in the sea, which has seen a rising number of small-scale clashes in recent years.

    Psaki said, "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."

    Psaki said it is the longstanding U.S. position that all sides avoid "unilateral action that raises tensions and undermines the prospect for a diplomatic or other peaceful resolution of differences."

    International concern

    The Philippines has said it is seeking more information about the regulations, while Vietnam responded by emphasizing its own claims in the energy-rich area.

    Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying defended the move as unremarkable.

    "China is a maritime nation, so it is totally normal and part of the routine for Chinese provinces bordering the sea to formulate regional rules according to the national law to regulate conservation, management and utilization of maritime biological resources," said Hua.

    Sam Bateman, a senior fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore, tells VOA if Beijing were to follow through with the restrictions, there is a "good chance" of heightened tensions.

    But he says it would be difficult for China to enforce the policy because of the massive effort needed to patrol the area.

    Bateman said, "This is not just surface ships, but also air surveillance of the area, because normally maritime surveillance and fishery surveillance of that nature is primarily carried out by air and then you use surface vessels to respond to any suspicious sighting."

    Bateman, a retired rear admiral in the Royal Australian Navy, says the regulations go "beyond anything acceptable under the International Law of the Sea," making China vulnerable to legal challenges.

    "I think if China tried to start enforcing the regulation, and particularly if it arrested a vessel, it would run fairly quickly into a legal dispute, which frankly I don't think China would have any chance at all of winning," said Bateman.

    Vietnam protest

    An official representing Vietnamese fishermen said his country will lodge a protest against China's latest move in the disputed South China Sea.

    Vo Van Trac, Vice Chairman of Vietnam Association of Fishery, told VOA's Vietnamese service that Vietnamese fishermen strongly oppose China's rules and will continue fishing in areas in the South China Sea where Vietnam also claims sovereignty.

    He said, "The rules will obviously have an impact on our fishermen's lives. We will ask our fishermen to keep fishing. We will tell them those areas [in the South China Sea] that are within our sovereignty. The most important thing right now is to reassure them about that".

    China's claims in the South China Sea overlap with those of ASEAN members Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei. All four are seeking multilateral talks to resolve the disputes. But Beijing has said it will only hold one-on-one negotiations.

    The U.S. says it does not take a position on the sovereignty disputes, but has consistently criticized Chinese moves it calls aggressive. Washington has also expanded military alliances with Southeast Asian nations involved in the disputes.

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

    Analysts are now debating whether China will declare a similar ADIZ in the East China Sea.

    You May Like

    Video Democrats Clinton, Kaine Offer 'Very Different Vision' Than Trump

    Party's presumptive presidential nominee, her vice presidential pick deliver optimistic message in Florida as they campaign for first time together

    Turkey Wants Pakistan to Close Down institutions, Businesses Linked to Gulen

    Thousands of Pakistani students are enrolled in Gulen's commercial network of around two dozen institutions operating in Pakistan for over two decades

    AU Passport A Work in Progress

    Who will get the passport and what the benefits are still need to be worked out

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movementi
    X
    July 22, 2016 11:49 AM
    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Poor Residents in Cleveland Not Feeling High Hopes of Republican Convention

    With the Republican Party's National Convention underway in Cleveland, Ohio, delegates and visitors are gathered in the host city's downtown - waiting to hear from the party's presidential candidate, Donald Trump. But a few kilometers from the convention's venue, Cleveland's poorest residents are not convinced Trump or his policies will make a difference in their lives. VOA's Ramon Taylor spoke with some of these residents as well as some of the Republican delegates and filed this report.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video With Yosemite as Backdrop, Obama Praises National Parks

    Last month, President Barack Obama and his family visited some of the most beautiful national parks in the U.S. Using the majestic backdrop of a towering waterfall in California's Yosemite National Park, Obama praised the national park system which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. He talked about the importance of America’s “national treasures” and the need to protect them from climate change and other threats. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Counter-Islamic State Coalition Plots Next Steps

    As momentum shifts against Islamic State in Iraq, discussions are taking place about the next steps for driving the terrorist group from its final strongholds. Secretary of State John Kerry is hosting a counter-IS meeting at the State Department, a day after defense ministers from more than 30 countries reviewed and agreed upon a course of action. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb reports.
    Video

    Video Russia's Participation at Brazil Olympic Games Still In Question

    The International Olympic Committee has delayed a decision on whether to ban all Russian teams from competing in next month's Olympic Games in Brazil over allegations of an elaborate doping scheme. The World Anti-Doping Agency recently released an independent report alleging widespread doping by Russian athletes at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. So far, only Russian track and field athletes have been barred from the Summer Games in Brazil. VOA's Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.
    Video

    Video Millennials Could Determine Who Wins Race to White House

    With only four months to go until Americans elect a new president, one group of voters is getting a lot more attention these days: those ages 18 to 35, a generation known as millennials. It’s a demographic that some analysts say could have the power to decide the 2016 election. But a lot depends on whether they actually turn out to vote. VOA’s Alexa Lamanna reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora