China urged to rein in fishermen

Kyodo News

China should take steps to better control its vessels, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshito Sengoku said Monday, in the wake of a collision over the weekend involving a Chinese trawler and a South Korean Coast Guard ship in the Yellow Sea.

“China should strongly regulate (its boats’ activities) to avoid the occurrence of violent actions in South Korea’s exclusive economic zone,” Sengoku said at a news conference.

The top government spokesman noted that a large number of Chinese boats have continued to fish illegally in South Korea’s EEZ this year, saying Beijing should also crack down on such poaching.

The Chinese trawler capsized and sank Saturday after colliding with the South Korean patrol ship that tried to stop its illegal fishing activities in South Korean waters, leaving one Chinese fisherman dead and another missing.

Yonhap News Agency reported that Chinese fishermen attacked South Korean Coast Guard officers with iron pipes and clubs when they tried to board the trawler, and their 63-ton boat capsized after ramming into the 3,000-ton coast guard ship.