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Question of the Day
That makes a total of 10 Chinese fishing vessels currently in Russian custody. The Russians have filed criminal charges against three Chinese captains and a crewmate.
The fishing incidents pose serious problems for Beijing over whether to get tough with Russia at the expense of its coveted good relationship with President Vladimir Putin’s government.
But on border issues, historical animosities linger, and Russia surprisingly joined China’s other neighbors in opposing Beijing’s aggressive maritime activities through its vast fleet of fishing boats.
Incidents of Chinese assertiveness have been seen in the South China Sea, East China Sea and now the northern Pacific near Russia.
Reports say fishing has been particular bountiful in the Russian exclusive economic zone, which covers areas of the Sea of Japan.
Chinese fishermen can obtain fishing licenses from Russian authorities, but most Chinese don’t bother to apply. As a result, the majority of Chinese fishing boats operate without proper licenses.
Russian authorities estimate about three dozen Chinese fishing vessels illegally operate inside the Russian zone.
Tense behind-the-scene diplomatic talks were held in Beijing and Moscow seeking to resolve the glitch in Sino-Russo relations.
On Monday, the Chinese Foreign Ministry stated that the Russians would soon release the captured Chinese who have not been charged in court. In exchange, China agreed to a Russian demand that no more intrusions would take place and that China would pay a large fine for any illegally caught fish hauled in by Chinese vessels.
• Miles Yu’s column appears Thursdays. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Author
Miles Yu’s column appears Thursdays. He can be reached at email@example.com.
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