China: Detained fishermen to return home

July 30, 2012 at 10:32 PM
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BEIJING, July 30 (UPI) -- China says it has resolved recent incidents with Russia that led to the detention of its boats and fishermen in the Russian far east.

A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman said the fishermen detained by Russia this month would return home soon, China Daily reported. The Chinese Consul in Khabarovsk, Russia, told the newspaper the four Chinese fishing vessels would be returned by the Russians after completion of necessary procedures, but no details were given.

Reports this month said Russia had seized two Chinese fishing ships and detained 36 fishermen after the vessels entered its exclusive far eastern economic zone in the Primorsky region.

China Daily said two more Chinese fishing boats were seized a few days later for the same reason and that all four vessels were sent to Russia's Nakhodka port. The report did not say how many more fishermen were detained after the latest seizure.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said diplomatic officials of the two countries were closely cooperating to enable the detained fishermen to return home at the earliest. All were reported in good condition.

Hong said the two countries agreed to establish a security cooperation mechanism on maritime law enforcement to prevent illegal fishing.

Experts told China Daily the incidents will not have a negative effect on China-Russia ties.

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