China’s top fisheries official has again hit out at foreign criticism of Chinese overseas fishing.
In a statement to industry officials in Beijing, Yu Kangzhen, China’s vice minister for agriculture with responsibility for fisheries said individual countries have “speculated” and “exaggerated” the extent of illegal fishing by Chinese fishermen. This has “smeared” China and “seriously affected” its image. Yu said both “the difficulties” and “foreign-related incidents” facing Chinese vessels are increasing.
Yu did, however, criticize Chinese trawlers for illegal fishing and for breaking “repeated prohibitions.”Yu termed the problem a “stubborn disease” and a “fishing vessel management” challenge. But without elaborating, Yu said the problem is down to “changes in the international economic situation and geopolitical influence.”
Chinese propaganda frequently refers to democratic neighbors like South Korea and Japan as “small” and, by extension, unfit to challenge China. But Yu pointed out that “even South Korea” had arrested Chinese fishermen and seized their vessels – a reference to what Seoul described as illegal fishing in its waters by large numbers of Chinese vessels.