Saturday, 11 January 2014

Việt Nam, Nhật Bản và Philippines lên án việc Trung Quốc...

Việt Nam và Philippines lên án việc Trung Quốc quy định những ngư phủ nước ngòai phải có sự chuẩn thuận của cơ quan chức năng Trung Quốc mới được hoạt động tại khu vực bao trùm hầu hết Biển Đông, nơi đang diễn cuộc tranh chấp lãnh hải.

Việt Nam, Philippines, Đài Loan bác bỏ quy định đánh cá mới của TQ

Việt Nam, Philippines và Đài Loan cùng lên tiếng phản đối quy định đánh bắt cá Trung Quốc đòi ngư dân nước ngoài phải xin phép Bắc Kinh để được hoạt động tại Biển Đông.

Phát ngôn viên Bộ Ngoại giao Việt Nam Lương Thanh Nghị hôm thứ Sáu nói rằng những hoạt động của phía Trung Quốc là “bất hợp pháp và vô giá trị, xâm phạm nghiêm trọng chủ quyền của Việt Nam,” và yêu cầu Trung Quốc “hủy bỏ những việc làm sai trái.”

Hội Nghề cá Việt Nam cũng lên tiếng phản đối quy định mới của chính quyền tỉnh Hải Nam.Phó chủ tịch hội, ông Võ Văn Trác, bày tỏ quan ngại rằng những hành động của Trung Quốc sẽ ảnh hưởng trực tiếp đến những ngư dân, kế sinh nhai và gia đình của họ.

Về phần mình, Bộ Ngoại giao Philippines nói những quy định mới của Trung Quốc "làm leo thang căng thẳng, làm phức tạp tình hình ở Biển Đông một cách không cần thiết, và đe dọa đến hòa bình ổn định của khu vực."

Philippines cho biết đã yêu cầu đại sứ quán của mình ở Trung Quốc làm rõ những quy định này.

Đài Loan nói rằng họ không công nhận bất kỳ động thái hay tuyên bố đơn phương của bất kỳ nước nào, và kêu gọi các bên tuyên bố chủ quyền tuân thủ luật pháp quốc tế, giải quyết tranh chấp lãnh thổ bằng biện pháp hòa bình.

(AP, Kyodo News)

China Sea Rules to Raise Tensions With Vietnam Enforcement to Focus on Waters Near Paracel Islands

Jan. 10, 2014 12:48 p.m. ET

BEIJING—Enforcement of China's new regulation requiring foreign fishermen to obtain Beijing's consent before operating in the disputed South China Sea will focus on waters close to China that are also claimed by Vietnam, an official said, potentially setting China on a collision course with Hanoi.

The regulation, which was enacted by China's island province of Hainan on Jan. 1, is the latest effort by Beijing to bolster territorial claims and is adding to tensions over contested islets, freedom of navigation and rights to fisheries and other resources in a sea vital to world trade. The Philippines and Vietnam this week criticized the measure, as has the U.S. State Department, which called it "provocative and potentially dangerous."

In recent months, China has stepped up muscle-flexing over its territorial claims, declaring an air-control zone over the East China Sea that aggravated a dispute with Japan and challenged a fledgling thaw with South Korea. The latest moves in the South China Sea increases prospects for further standoffs with its southern neighbors.

Wu Shicun, a delegate to Hainan's legislature and former head of the province's foreign-affairs office, said Friday that the measure in principle applied to China's entire territorial claim in the South China Sea, which extends to near the coasts of the Philippines and Malaysia.

In practice, however, Mr. Wu said that Chinese enforcement would focus on policing the waters near the Paracel Islands, just south of Hainan, and not farther away. Mr. Wu said punishments—likely including fines and the seizure of catches—would be strengthened against fishermen who entered the area without permission. He said Vietnam has been encouraging its fishermen to enter the area.

"The goal is to make them not dare to come back," said Mr. Wu, who is also president of the National Institute for South China Sea Studies. "If you violate the rules, you will pay a high price." He said the U.S. had grown too worked up about the new measure, which he said was aimed at better regulating the fishing industry.

China has exercised de facto control of the Paracels after ousting Vietnam in a naval battle in 1974 and has since built up a sizable government and military presence.

Hanoi hasn't relinquished its claim. Luong Thanh Nghi, spokesman for Vietnam's Foreign Ministry, reiterated Friday that Vietnam had "indisputable sovereignty" over the Paracels and Spratlys, another island group farther to the south, claimed in part or full also by China, the Philippines and others. "Any foreign activities not approved by Vietnam in this area are illegal and invalid," he said, in response to a media query.

Other South China Sea claimants include Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan. Verbal sparring and outright confrontations have been on the rise in recent years as a more powerful China asserts claims it has long made on paper and as other countries resist. In March, Vietnam accused China of firing on a Vietnamese fishing boat operating near the Paracels. China's Defense Ministry later said Chinese sailors fired two flares as a warning and hadn't attacked the Vietnamese.

On Friday, the Philippines Department of Foreign Affairs said it was "gravely concerned" by the new regulation. "This development escalates tensions, unnecessarily complicates the situation in the South China Sea, and threatens the peace and stability of the region," the statement read.
Existing Chinese law requires foreign fishing vessels to obtain permission from China's central government before operating in its territorial waters; the new Hainan regulation deals more directly with disputed South China Sea waters.

Farther south from the Paracels, the waters around the disputed Spratly Islands, off the Philippine island of Palawan, offer rich fishing grounds. Disputed sections of the South China Sea may also be rich in energy reserves, including oil and gas. Mr. Wu said Filipino fishermen operating near the Spratlys wouldn't be affected by the new measure.

Mr. Wu said the priority for enforcement is China's territorial waters—the area that under the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea extends up to 12 nautical miles from what is known as a country's "baseline," the low-water line along a coast from which countries measure territorial waters.

"The regulation only applies to territorial waters for which we have announced baselines, and those waters which we are practically able to control," he said.

The U.S. has long said it doesn't take sides in the territorial dispute, but that it supports any measures conducive to maintaining freedom of navigation. Mr. Wu said the new regulation posed no threat to freedom of navigation in the area.

Asked about the State Department's criticism of the new regulation, a spokeswoman for China's Foreign Ministry said Friday that China had the right to manage resources in its sovereign territory.

—Yang Jie in Beijing and Vu Trong Khanh in Hanoi contributed to this article.

Japan condemns China fishing curbs; vows to defend islands

Japan's Defence Minister Onodera reviews troops from the Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force 1st Airborne Brigade during an annual new year military exercise in Funabashi
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Japan's Defence Minister Itsunori Onodera (C) reviews troops from the Japanese Ground Self-Defense …
NARASHINO, Japan (Reuters) - Japan on Sunday joined the United States in criticising China's new fishing restrictions in the South China Sea, saying the curbs, coupled with the launch last year of an air defence zone, has left the international community jittery.
Defence Minister Itsunori Onodera made the comment after observing the Japanese Self-Defence Forces' elite airborne brigade conducting airdrop drills designed to hone their skills to defend and retake remote islands.
Earlier on Sunday, Chinese government ships briefly entered what Japan considers its territorial waters near a group of disputed East China Sea islets, in the first such action this year.
"Setting something like this unilaterally as if you are treating your own territorial waters, and imposing certain restrictions on fishing boats is not something that is internationally tolerated," Onodera told reporters.
"I'm afraid not only Japan but the international society as a whole has a concern that China is unilaterally threatening the existing international order" with its new restrictions in the South China Sea and the creation of an air defence identification zone, he said.
The fishing rules, approved by China's southern Hainan province, took effect on January 1 and require foreign fishing vessels to obtain approval to enter disputed waters in the South China Sea, which the local government says are under its jurisdiction.
Washington called the fishing rules "provocative and potentially dangerous", prompting a rebuttal from China's foreign ministry on Friday.
Ties between China and Japan, the world's second- and third-largest economies, have been strained due to a long-running row over ownership of the group of tiny, uninhabited islands called the Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China.
Tensions soared in recent months after Beijing announced the air defence identification zone covering a large swathe of the East China Sea, including the disputed isles, and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited a controversial Tokyo shrine seen by critics as a symbol of Japan's wartime aggression.
China and South Korea, where bitter memories of Japan's past militarism run deep, have repeatedly expressed anger in the past over Japanese politicians' visits to Yasukuni Shrine, where Japanese leaders convicted as war criminals by an Allied tribunal are honoured along with those who died in battle.
Stoking tensions further, three Chinese government ships on Sunday morning briefly entered what Japan sees as its territorial waters near the disputed islands, controlled by Japan but also claimed by China, the latest in such occasional entries by Chinese ships.
"We can never overlook such repeated entries. In addition to diplomatic efforts, we will cooperate with Coast Guard and securely defend our territory and territorial waters around the Senkaku," Onodera said.
Patrol ships from China and Japan have been shadowing each other near the islets on and off for months, raising fears that a confrontation could develop into a clash.