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Vietnam protests China fishing ban

HANOI, Vietnam, June 9 (UPI) -- Hanoi says Chinese moves to ban Vietnamese fishermen from the South China Sea is interfering with its territorial rights to work the waters.

The Vietnamese foreign ministry's Web site said Monday Deputy Foreign Minister Ho Xuan Son has told Chinese ambassador Sun Guoxiang increased arrests and fines imposed by Chinese naval patrols in the area "have caused indignation among the public, bringing no benefits to bilateral relations," the BBC reported.

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Son's protest was the second time in three weeks that Vietnam officials have complained about the fishing ban, imposed by Beijing in an effort to preserve fish stocks and stem what it says is overfishing in the South China Sea, the British broadcaster said.

Vietnamese media have reportedly launched newspaper campaigns to oppose what they call "Chinese starvation of Vietnam's fishing industry," running stories about how Vietnamese fishing vessels have been kept in port for fear of being arrested or even shot at by Chinese patrols.

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