BEIJING: China’s defence minister has urged preparations for a “people’s war at sea” to counter offshore security threats and safeguard sovereignty, state media reported on Tuesday.
Chang Wanquan’s comments came several weeks after an international tribunal dismissed the country’s claim to most of the South China Sea, a judgement it angrily rejected.
Chang “called for recognition of the seriousness of the national security situation, especially the threat from the sea”, Xinhua news agency said.
The military, police and people should prepare to mobilise to defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity, he was quoted as saying during a tour of the coastal province of Zhejiang.
The agency did not say what day he was speaking or elaborate further.
Ealier on Tuesday China announced penalties for “illegal” fishing in its waters, including disputed areas.
The Supreme Court defined penalties for boats operating in “sovereign” areas including the South China Sea, in what appears to be an attempt to strengthen Chinese governance of the waters.
The new regulations outline penalties for both Chinese and “foreign” fishermen operating “illegally” in Chinese waters, including its “exclusive economic zone” (EEZ), a 200-nautical mile region surrounding a country’s territory.
Those boats that “illegally enter” Chinese waters more than once in a year or refuse to leave the waters will be subject to fines and up to a year in jail, a posting on the court’s website said.
It also established penalties for harvesting coral and giant clams, as well as other endangered species.
Full article: China must prepare for ‘people’s war at sea’: Defence minister (The Times of India)