Tensions due to China’s Fishing Ban under Control unless US InterferesPosted: May 9, 2020
SCMP says in its report “Beijing’s South China Sea fishing ban threatens to raise tensions with rival claimants”, “Fishing groups in Vietnam and the Philippines have urged their governments to take firm measures to resist ban, which is intended to preserve fish stocks”.
Vietnamese government has said something but not the Philippines.
In fact even during the Scarborough standoff, the Philippines has to observe the ban, though China disallowed it to fish in the area around the reef.
Fishing conflicts between China and Vietnam have been common. A Vietnamese fishing boat was sunk by Chinese coast guard ship even recently.
Such tension for resources are normal and will not be a big issue unless the US interferes with its navy.
In the past, Japan planned to use its navy to drive Chinese fishing boats away from the area around the disputed Diaoyu Islands, China showed that it was to respond with war. The then US Vice President Joe Biden had to visit China to prevent the naval war as the US would not support Japan’s move. Biden said that the US would not fight for a few rocks. After that, China sent fishing fleet larger than the past to the area and Japan did not drive Chinese fleet away.
China banned Philippine fishing in the area around Scarborough Reef after Scarborough standoff, but the US did not interfere though the Philippines is its ally. The ban was not lifted until the Philippines had improved its relations with China.
There may be tension or even war if the US interferes as China vows to defend its core interests in the South China Sea.
The ball is on US side.
Comment by Chan Kai Yee on SCMP’s report, full text of which may be viewed at https://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy/article/3083304/delayed-south-china-sea-talks-expose-chinas-complex.