Russia detains 36 Chinese fishermen, 2 boats: Xinhua

Reuters News
Posted: Jul 17, 2012 12:54 PM
Russia detains 36 Chinese fishermen, 2 boats: Xinhua

BEIJING (Reuters) - Russia has detained 36 Chinese fishermen and seized two ships for entering an exclusive economic zone in its far eastern Primorsky region, China's state news agency Xinhua reported on Tuesday.

Xinhua cited the Chinese consulate in the port city of Vladivostok as saying that one ship was detained at the port of Nakhodka, and the other ship was heading there.

A Russian coast guard vessel fired warning shots and then opened targeted fire to stop one of the ships, a trawler that had been fishing for squid, Xinhua said, citing Russia's RIA Novosti news agency.

None of the Chinese fishermen were killed or wounded during the incident, according to RIA.

The two ships were from the city of Weihai in China's eastern Shandong province, Xinhua said.

It was not the first time Russia's coastguards had fired on Chinese trawlers and detained them for poaching fish in Russian waters, but such confrontations are rare.

Russia has watched cautiously as Beijing has emerged as a regional power, engaging Beijing as a trading and diplomatic partner but wary of it as a potential rival for control of resources in Russia's thinly populated eastern stretches.

Russia has increased its business and military investment in its Far East and strengthened its political presence there, creating a ministry to oversee the region in order to counter China's influence there.

(Reporting by Sui-Lee Wee, additional reporting by Thomas Grove in Moscow, editing by Tim Pearce)