BEIJING, Jan. 10 (Xinhua) -- China on Friday voiced "discontent and opposition" to U.S. criticism on China's new fishing rules in the South China Sea, urging the country not to send wrong signals.
"For the last 30 years, China's relevant laws and regulations have been implemented normally, without causing any tension," Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said at a regular press briefing.
The new regulations adopted by China's Hainan Province on implementing the country's fishing law took effect on Jan. 1, replacing the previous regulations that went into effect in 1993.
The amended regulations require foreigners and foreign fishing vessels to obtain approval from the central government to enter waters under its jurisdiction.
U.S. Department of State spokeswoman Jen Psaki on Thursday said the adoption of these restrictions was a "provocative and potentially dangerous act."
According to international laws, universal practice and domestic laws, the Chinese government bears the right and obligation to manage the biological and non-biological resources on relevant islands, reefs and in relevant waters, Hua said.
"If someone asserts that the technical amendments on a provincial fishing regulation which has been implemented for years will pose a threat to regional peace and stability, it's either due to lack of common sense or out of hidden intent," she said.
Hua said China's position on its rights and benefits in the South China Sea are constant and clear, and "there's no need for China to enhance that via the adoption of a provincial regulation."
As a coastal country on the South China Sea, China has always been a firm power in safeguarding peace and stability, and in promoting cooperation and development in the region. It has constantly endeavored to seek solutions for disputes via negotiation and talks.
"It's exactly due to the common efforts from China and other regional countries that peace, stability and prosperity have been preserved in the region for such a long time," Hua said.
There's coherence between the new regulations and China's fishing law that passed and became effective in 1986, Hua noted.
"Hence,the problem does not exist in the laws and regulations, but in the perspectives of the elaborators," she said.
Hua urged the U.S. side to respect and support relevant countries' efforts in settling problems via direct dialogue, play a positive role and avoid sending wrong signals.
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