THE PHILIPPINE STAR REPORTS:
CHINA CORDONING OFF SPRATLYS WITH FISHING BOATSArticle by: Alexis Romero
MANILA, Philippines - A Chinese fishing fleet composed of 30 vessels sailed on Monday from Hainan province to the disputed Spratly islands in the West Philippine Sea for a “40-day operation,” a report in the state-run China Daily said yesterday.
“The 40-day operation is the second of its kind organized by local fishery associations after Sansha city was established in June last year,” the report read. Each vessel in the fleet weighs more than 100 metric tons. The journey is expected to take four days.
The first fishing expedition, also comprising 30 boats, was held in July last year. China Daily quoted Li Nianyou, deputy director of the Hainan provincial department of ocean and fisheries, as saying that his office would “make every effort to guarantee the fleet’s safety.”
At Malacañang, deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) were verifying the report.
Sought for comment, Department of National Defense spokesman Peter Galvez said China should limit its operations to international waters.
“Everybody is free to fish in international waters,” Galvez told The STAR in a phone interview.
Link to complete story: http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2013/05/08/939648/china-fishing-boats-cordon-spratlys
Alexis Romero is an important journalist for English Language coverage of Philippine security and political issues. Here is a link to the Philippine Star's story archive of his postings: http://www.philstar.com/author/Alexis%20Romero