China rebuts Vietnam's protest against South China Sea fishing ban

Chinese Foreign Ministry on Monday said Vietnam has no right to comment on China's summer fishing moratorium in the South China Sea waters since the measure belongs to China's administrative rights.

Spokesperson Zhao Lijian's remarks came as his Vietnamese counterpart voiced the country's objection to the fishing ban and demanded that China not "further complicate the situation in the South China Sea."

The annual fishing ban this year started on May 1 and is expected to end on Aug. 16 in the waters north to 12 degrees north latitude of the South China Sea, with the coast guard and fishery authorities launching law enforcement work. More than 50,000 fishing boats will suspend operations during the three-and-a-half-month moratorium.

It is indisputable that the Xisha Islands are part of China's territory, Zhao told a press briefing, stressing that China enjoys sovereign rights and jurisdiction in relevant waters of the South China Sea according to international laws and China's domestic laws.

Implementing the summer fishing moratorium in relevant waters of the South China Sea is a legitimate measure of China to exercise its administrative rights and fulfill relevant international obligations in accordance with the law, Zhao said. He added that the measure is beneficial for the protection of fishery resources and sustainable development in the South China Sea.

Vietnam should not encourage its fishermen to infringe upon China's rights and interests and undermine the sustainable development of fishery resources in the South China Sea, Zhao said. 

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