Washington: The latest Chinese moves to restrict fishing in contested waters of the South China Sea is a "provocative and potentially dangerous act," the United States has said.
"The passing of these restrictions on other countries` fishing activities in disputed portions of the South China Sea is a provocative and potentially dangerous act," State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki said on Thursday.
She was responding to questions on the latest Chinese demand that all foreign fishing vessels ask for permission to enter into more than half of the 3.5-million-square-kilometre South China Sea.
China is facing rival territorial claims by Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei in this area.
These regulations, she said, appear to apply to the maritime space within China`s so-called nine-dash line.
"China has not offered any explanation or basis under international law for these extensive maritime claims," Psaki said.
"Our long-standing position has been that all concerned parties should avoid any unilateral action that raises tensions and undermines the prospects for a diplomatic or other peaceful resolution of differences," she said.
Clearly, passing legislation that claims ownership over territory in a disputed area would certainly be of concern to us, she added.