Date: 04-23-12 18:34
Here are updates to two items I've posted before about. I tried searching for them to update the threads but haven't had any luck so far.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-17796451 An April 21, 2012 BBC News article titled "China frees Vietnamese fishermen held on Paracel Islands".
China has freed 21 Vietnamese fishermen detained last month near disputed islands in the South China Sea, officials say.
China accused the men of fishing illegally in waters around the Paracel Islands, which it has occupied since 1974.
Vietnam, which also claims the islands, said the men were held in its waters.
The row came amid rising regional tensions over competing territorial claims in the area.
Officials said the men were released on Friday after giving written guarantees, the Xinhua news agency reported.
The fishermen pledged "not to infringe on China's maritime rights, especially fishing, in its territorial waters", the South China Sea Fishery Bureau was quoted as saying.
The statement said the Vietnamese boats were loaded with explosives and other equipment used for dynamite fishing.
Vietnam lodged a formal protest after the fishermen's detention on 3 March, and demanded their immediate and unconditional release.
Tensions have been on the rise recently over both countries' claims to the Paracels, a chain of small islands and reefs occupied by China since a brief war in 1974.
A week before the Vietnamese fishermen's detention, Vietnam said China "seriously violated" its sovereignty by allowing bidding for oil exploration near the Paracel Islands.
The South China Sea, thought to be rich in oil and natural gas reserves, has been a source of maritime conflict between several countries.
Along with China and Vietnam, islands in the area are also claimed by the the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia and Taiwan.
China claims almost all of the sea, at certain points nearly right up to other countries' coastlines.
Since 10 April, a Philippines naval vessel has been locked in a stand-off with Chinese surveillance ships at the Scarborough shoal, which is claimed by both countries.
On Friday China sent a third patrol ship to reinforce the two already in the area. The dispute began when Manila accused Chinese fishermen of poaching in its waters. Beijing said the fishing boats are legally there.
Earlier this week, Philippines-US forces launched a fortnight of naval exercises in nearby seas.
China's top military newspaper warned the US on Saturday that the drills had heightened the risk of armed confrontation in the area.
"Anyone with clear eyes saw long ago that behind these drills is reflected a mentality that will lead the South China Sea issue down a fork in the road towards military confrontation and resolution through armed force," a commentary in the Liberation Army Daily said, according to the Reuters news agency.
Correspondents say the commentary marks the harshest high-level warning yet from Beijing about the tension with the Philippines.
After holding the men for more than a month, they're finally released?
Life is too short. Why are we wasting our time on the stupid Vietnamese? ;-0
http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5hMlCuOewwRZH2tTLoTiy0gbRoVKg?docId=afef1a76e9644a3ebcfee41fad547c65 An April 20, 2012 Associated Press article titled "SKorea court sentences Chinese captain to 30 years" found at the Google News web site.
By SAM KIM
SEOUL, South Korea — A court in South Korea gave a 30-year prison term Thursday to a Chinese fisherman for stabbing a South Korean coast guard officer to death in December. China immediately protested the ruling.
The stabbing occurred after South Korean officers boarded a Chinese boat over suspicions of illegal fishing in the Yellow Sea. The incident prompted anger in both countries and led their presidents to agree to work toward preventing more clashes.
South Korea's Incheon District Court said Thursday's sentencing was a warning against future violence.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin told a news conference in Beijing that China rejected the South Korean sentencing. He said China urged South Korea to properly handle the case and called on Seoul to respect the legitimate rights of Chinese fishermen.
Chinese fishing boats have been going farther afield to feed growing domestic demand for seafood. With some 300,000 fishing vessels and 8 million fishermen, the Chinese fishing industry is by far the world's largest. But catches have decreased in waters close to China's shores, forcing the fleet to venture farther.
South Korea's coast guard says it has seized hundreds of Chinese ships over the years for illegal fishing in the Yellow Sea, which is rich in blue crabs, anchovies and croaker. The ships are usually released after a fine is paid, though violence occasionally occurs.
In 2008, one South Korean coast guard officer was killed and six others injured in a clash with Chinese fishermen in South Korean waters.
This was the second time a South Korean coast guard member was killed by Chinese fishermen so the public was up in arms so the heavy sentence was to be expected.
I'll try to find the original posts if I've time but don't hold your breath counting on it happening any time soon. ;=0
Kobo's got a lot to write. ;-0