China’s southernmost province of Hainan has issued a set of rules requiring foreign fishing vessels to seek approval from authorities to operate in the vast area that Beijing claims in the resource-rich South China Sea, the South China Morning Post reported Friday. The new rules represented an escalation of Beijing’s jurisdictional claims over the disputed waters, and could lead to more expulsions of foreign fishing vessels, analysts were quoted as saying. Parts of the waters are contested by Southeast Asian nations including the Philippines, Vietnam and Malaysia, the report said. The new rules are aimed at better protecting the country’s fishing resources, the foreign ministry was quoted as saying.
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