28 July 2014
On China’s southern Hainan island, a fishing boat captain shows a Reuters reporter around his ageing vessel. He has one high-tech piece of kit, however: a satellite navigation system that gives him a direct link to the Chinese coastguard should he run into bad weather or a Philippine or Vietnamese patrol ship when he’s fishing in the disputed South China Sea.
By the end of last year, China’s homegrown Beidou satellite system had been installed on more than 50,000 Chinese fishing boats, according to official media. On Hainan, China’s gateway to the South China Sea, boat captains have paid no more than 10 per cent of the cost. The government has paid the rest.
It’s a sign of China’s growing financial support for its fishermen as they head deeper into Southeast Asian waters in search of new fishing grounds as stocks thin out closer to home.
… “Right now I would say competition for fishing resources is the main cause of tensions between China and regional countries,” said Zhang Hongzhou, associate research fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore.
IDSS / RSIS / Online
Last updated on 29/07/2014