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Philippines risks crisis as ships told to IGNORE Beijing – South China Sea holds breath

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The Chinese fishing moratorium, which takes effect over the summer from May 1 to August 16, has been ongoing since 1999. The embargo normally prevents fishermen from over exploiting fish resources, particularly squid, in the Bohai Sea, the Yellow Sea, the East China Sea and the South China Sea.

In a statement on Tuesday, the Philippines’ South China Sea task force said it would not obey the rules of the embargo where it fell in Filipino waters.

“This fishing ban does not apply to our fishermen,” the task force said.

It added: “Our fisherfolk are encouraged to go out and fish in our waters in the WPS (West Philippine Sea).”

The Philippines’ act of defiance comes amid another report from Manila of a Chinese incursion on its Exclusive Economic Zone on Wednesday.

For years, Manila has been wrapped up in a dispute with Beijing over China’s sweeping sovereignty claims in the South China Sea.

Tensions between the nations reached a critical height after Manila accused China of harbouring a “maritime militia” on board hundreds of “illegal” vessels that have been anchored at the Whitsun reef since early March.

In response to the allegations, China claimed the boats were just sheltering from rough seas and no militia were aboard.

The South China Sea task force added that on April 27, seven more Chinese vessels believed by Manila to be harbouring “Chinese maritime militia” at the Sabina shoal in the Spratly archipelago were dispersed by the Philippine coast guard.

READ MORE: South China Sea: Philippine minister tells Beijing to ‘get out!’

He added: “What are you doing to our friendship? You. Not us. We’re trying. You. You’re like an ugly oaf forcing your attentions on a handsome guy who wants to be a friend; not to father a Chinese province.”



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