China to enforce fishing ban in disputed waters
BEIJING, China — China is set to enforce its annual fishing ban in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea), but the Philippines says it will not recognize the ban in waters both countries claim.
The ban that begins Wednesday is meant to conserve resources and curb overfishing.
The official Xinhua News Agency cited a South China Fisheries Administration Bureau official Sunday as saying the ban includes waters around Huangyan Island, which Manila calls Panatag Shoal. Its popular name is Scarborough Shoal.
Philippine Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario says his nation does not recognize the Chinese ban and suggested Filipinos would continue to fish in its territorial waters.
Ships from both nations have been standing off at the shoal since April 10.
Chinese enforcement of the ban has previously sparked tensions with Vietnam.
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