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Alarm as China Issues Rules for Disputed Area

Global trade depends on freedom of navigation of the seas. One-third of global trade passes through the South China Sea. China’s Hainan Province has raised international concerns with a law allowing Chinese ships “to search and repel foreign ships only if they were engaged in illegal activities (though these were not defined) and only if the ships were within the 12-nautical-mile zone surrounding islands that China claims,” reports Jane Perlez for the New York Times. The sea is dotted with hundreds of small islands, adding to complications of claims. Perlez reports that one specific target is Vietnamese vessels, alleged by China to engage in illegal fishing near the disputed Paracels. Other nations are pressing for clarification from China. Wu Shicun is director general of the foreign affairs office of Hainan Province and heads a Chinese-sponsored institute devoted to the study of the South China Sea; Perlez reports he acknowledged “that the new rules had aroused alarm in Asia, and the United States, because they could be interpreted as a power grab by China.” – YaleGlobal

Alarm as China Issues Rules for Disputed Area

One third of global trade passes through South China Sea; China’s claims of many rocks and islands complicate freedom of navigation and could be power grab
Jane Perlez
The New York Times, 5 December 2012
Click here for the article in The New York Times.
Bree Feng contributed reporting from Haikou, and Elisabeth Bumiller from Washington.

Source:The New York Times
Rights:Copyright © 2012 The New York Times Company