Follow the law, don’t break the law, and really, please, don’t do anything illegal – China's agricultural ministry has issued an emphatic plea for Chinese fishing vessels to behave themselves during the G20 summit in Argentina this weekend.
Chinese fishing vessels are required to stay well away from the borders of other countries’ marine exclusive economic zones – 3 nautical miles away, to be precise, according to an instruction that appears twice in a brief statement issued by the Ministry of Agriculture on its website Thursday. Offshore fishing companies should also “pay attention to the movement of fishing vessels 24 hours a day,” while “strictly following our ministry’s relevant regulations.”
This is to make sure China can establish a “responsible great power image” and avoid “law-breaking foreign affairs incidents” during the G20 summit, the ministry said.
The ministry has reason to be worried – Chinese boats have been increasingly implicated in illegal fishing around the world, and the discovery of 6,223 illegally obtained sharks on a China-flagged ship off the coast of Ecuador last year dealt a serious blow to the country’s maritime image.