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China says ROK's action against Chinese fisherman groundless

CCTV.com

10-13-2016 06:11 BJT

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BEIJING, Oct. 12 (Xinhua) -- The Chinese Foreign Ministry on Wednesday responded to a clash between a Chinese fishing boat and a Republic of Korea (ROK) coast guard boat by urging the ROK to handle the dispute in an objective and calm manner and maintain the legitimate interests of Chinese fishermen.

Spokesperson Geng Shuang made the remarks in response to a question regarding an ROK media report that said the assistant ROK foreign minister had summoned the Chinese ambassador to protest the ramming and sinking of the ROK patrol vessel by the Chinese fishing boat.

Geng said the ROK's claim is not tenable, adding there is no legal basis for the ROK coast guard boat to carry out law enforcement operations in the waters where the clash occurred.

"Based on the geographical coordinates provided by the ROK, the clash happened at 37 degrees, 23 minutes and 06 seconds north latitude and 123 degrees, 58 minutes and 56 seconds east longitude, an area where, according to the China-ROK fishery agreement, both countries may maintain their existing fishing activities," Geng said.

China has lodged serious representations to the ROK and demanded the country handle the incident calmly and rationally, he said at a routine press briefing.

Calling fishery cooperation an important part of China-ROK ties, Geng said disputes and problems are inevitable as their cooperation grows. It is essential for both sides to enhance coordination, keep calm and operate in accordance with the bilateral fishery agreement and consensus, he added.

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