BEIJING, May 18 (Xinhuanet) – The safety of Chinese fishermen in the South China sea is now ensured by marine surveillance ships. The captain of a fishing boat, recently returned to port, tells us what this protection means to those making a living at sea.
Back to port, safe and sound. And the crew have China's marine surveillance ships to thank.
The Qiong-Qionghai is from Hainan province. Five days ago, it returned to Tanmen port full of fish, fresh from the waters around Huangyan Island.
The captain says he's happy with the profit he's made. But a greater sense of satisfaction comes from greater safety at sea.
A fishing boat captain named Xu Detan tells us, "Our boats are everywhere around the island, and we are afraid of nothing. The Chinese Marine Surveillance ships kept in contact with us around-the-clock."
Xu's vessel was one of 12 Chinese fishing boats harassed by a Philippine navy warship on April 10. That triggered a month-long confrontation between Chinese and Philippine vessels.
A two-and-a-half month fishing ban is now in place in most parts of the South China Sea. It aims to help replenish marine resource and means Captain Xu can't return just yet to Huangyan Island.
Instead, he'll be setting sail to the Nansha Islands, a new Chinese flag proudly flapping in the wind.
Special Report: Huangyan Island Dispute