Chinese Coast Guard will detain "illegal" fishermen in SCS

Discussion in 'East Asia & The Pacific' started by Cossack25A1, Aug 3, 2016.

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  1. Cossack25A1

    Cossack25A1 1st Lieutenant

    Oct 22, 2015
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    South China Sea: Beijing vows to prosecute 'trespassers'
    By James Griffiths, CNN
    Updated 1805 GMT (0205 HKT) August 2, 2016

    Hong Kong (CNN) China has sent a clear warning to foreigners who enter contested areas of the South China Sea -- stay away or you'll be prosecuted.

    The warning came in a detailed explanation of last month's Hague ruling, which found that China's territorial claims in region have "no legal basis" under the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea.

    China claims almost all of the South China Sea, including islands more than 800 miles (1,200 kilometers) from the Chinese mainland, despite objections from neighbors including the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei and Vietnam.
    On Tuesday, the Chinese Supreme People's Court issued a regulation on judicial interpretation saying there was a "clear legal basis for China to safeguard maritime order, marine safety and interests, and to exercise integrated management over the country's jurisdictional seas."

    Michael C. Davis, a law professor at Hong Kong University, told CNN the supreme court's statement was "worrisome."
    "This is kind of an ominous suggestion that they will be prosecuting people who enter the waters that China claims," he said.

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    Filipino fishermen asked to stand down as China court warns vs illegal fishing
    Kristine Angeli Sabillo | Philippine Daily Inquirer/ANN | Manila
    Wed, August 3 2016 | 04:33 pm

    The Philippines might have won its arbitrated case on disputed areas in the South China Sea but it has yet to ensure the safety of its fishermen, at least based on the Department of Foreign Affairs’ advice for them to stay clear of areas where tension with China is still high.

    DFA spokesperson Charles Jose on Wednesday told reporters that the Permanent Court of Arbitration clearly declared Scarborough Shoal (Bajo de Masinloc) a common fishing ground.

    However, he said the government still needs to discuss the issue with China, which has refused to recognize the arbitral tribunal’s ruling.

    Asked if the government is advising Filipino fishermen to stay clear of the disputed areas, he said, “Perhaps we can do that for now for the safety of everyone.”

    His answer echoed that of Supreme Court Associate Justice Francis Jardeleza who said weeks ago that fishermen should exercise caution while local government units sort out guidelines and safeguards for their protection.

    Despite his advice, Jose insisted that fishermen have the right to fish in the area. “So far as we are concerned, the tribunal’s decision on this is clear. What is important is that our fishermen are able to return to Scarborough Shoal because their livelihood has already been affected,” he said.

    The spokesperson said this as China’s Supreme Court ruled that people found illegally fishing in Chinese waters will be jailed up to a year. It did not mention the South China Sea but it said its decision was made in accordance to Chinese law and the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), which was the basis of the Philippine government’s cad against China’s “nine-dash line” claim.

    Jose reiterated Secretary Perfecto Yasay’s earlier statement for all parties to exercise restraint and sobriety.

    “We know that China has occupied Scarborough Shoal. Let’s wait for clarifications on how our fishermen can return without being subjected to harassment,” he explained.

    Jose said he is also sure that the concerns of the fishermen are among the priority issues that former president and special envoy Fidel Ramos will raise when he holds dialogue with China.

    When asked if the Philippines will now repair its facilities in the Kalayaan Group of Islands, he said it is not yet a priority. “For now we are trying to lessen the tension because the decision has just been handed down. For us, our priority is our fishermen,” he said.

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