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Vietnam Bristles at China’s Latest Provocation: China Says “If you violate the rules, you will pay a high price.”


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china-sea-rules-to-raise-tensions-with-vietnam-china-says-if-you-violate-the-rules-you-will-pay-a-high-pricePeace and Freedom:

Brian Spegele


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.




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 further 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.



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