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Vietnam fishermen defy China ban May 17,2012   |  Source: Radio Free Asia

Vietnamese fishermen are moving to defy a Chinese ban on fishing in disputed waters in the South China Sea, according to a fisherman Wednesday, as Hanoi labeled Beijing’s decision as illegal.

Le Lon, a fisherman from Vietnam’s Quang Ngai province who was previously detained by Chinese authorities in the South China Sea, said that his son and a group of other fishermen had set sail toward the disputed Paracel Islands in a bid to challenge the ban.

“Whatever orders the Chinese government wants to give, they can go ahead, but we are not scared of them,” he said, adding that all the fishermen in the area were aware of the ban.

China, which has competing claims with Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei, and Taiwan for territories in the South China Sea, has imposed the ban annually since 1999, but this year the ban comes amid escalating tensions with Hanoi.

Hanoi protested the seasonal ban, which runs from May 16 to August 1.

“Vietnam opposes this unilateral decision by China and views it as an invalid one,” Foreign Ministry Spokesman Luong Thanh Nghi said in a statement posted online Tuesday.

Detained fishermen

Le Lon was among a group of 20 Vietnamese fishermen detained by Chinese authorities in February while diving for sea cucumbers near the


© 1998-2011 Radio Free Asia.

Theme(s): Fishing Craft, Gear and Fishing Methods.

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