习近平出席中阿合作论坛第十届部长级会议开幕式并发表主旨讲话
习近平出席中阿合作论坛第十届部长级会议开幕式并发表主旨讲话
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China is a responsible fishing country

Source: Xinhua | 2020-12-28

BEIJING, Dec. 25 (Xinhua) -- A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson reiterated Friday that China is a responsible fishing country that actively fulfills its international obligations. U.S. accusations of China using forced labor in ocean fishing operations are "baseless and malicious attacks and slanders."

Spokesperson Wang Wenbin made the remarks at a press briefing in response to a U.S. report that attacks China's fishing operations.

Wang said China attaches great importance to science-based conservation and sustainable use of fishery resources and actively fulfills its international obligations.

"China has established a full-fledged management system for distant-water fishing and implemented the world's most rigorous Vessel Monitoring System (VMS). We exercise voluntary fishing moratorium on the high seas in Southeast Pacific and Southwest Atlantic," Wang said, adding that China has joined eight regional fishery management organizations, with high-ranking performance in compliance.

At the same time, China works actively with the international community to crack down upon illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, the spokesperson said, adding that in 2021, China will also adopt a reporting and observer system for transshipment on the high seas to help conserve fishing resources.

As per international customary practice in the distant-water fishing industry, Chinese businesses came into mutually-beneficial labor cooperation relations with some countries on their own accord, Wang said. "There is no 'forced labor'."

He added that authorities in China and relevant countries also maintain good communication regarding the establishment of bilateral fishing labor cooperation mechanisms. "We reject baseless and malicious attacks and slanders."

Wang pointed out that U.S. seiners far exceeded the number of days they are allowed to fish on the high seas according to relevant fishing management organization, and they have been doing this for many years.

"This has been a cause for concern with other members at the organization. Shouldn't the United States reflect upon its behavior and stop violating the rules?" asked the spokesperson.

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