China tough on fishing casualties

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China tough on fishing casualties

China urged Korea to pay compensation and punish those responsible for a clash between Chinese fishing boats and the Korean Coast Guard, which left one fisherman dead and another missing.

“China asks South Korea to severely punish perpetrators, compensate losses to life and property on the Chinese side and take effective measures to prevent similar incidents,” Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Jiang Yu told reporters in Beijing today. “We are seriously concerned about the incident and have solemnly raised the issue with South Korea.”

Korea maintains that the collision on Saturday took place after the coast guard discovered about 50 boats from China illegally fishing in Korean waters. The coast guard said four of its officers were injured when the crew from one vessel resisted their attempts to board.

Jiang declined to specify whether the perpetrators she referred to were from the Korean side. She also said the incident “had no direct relation to the current tense situation on the Korean Peninsula.”

Jiang said neither country’s law enforcement boats have the right to board the other’s vessels, citing a bilateral fishery agreement.

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