Tensions explode as US sends ships to confront ‘illegal’ Chinese fishing in ...

THE US has blasted ‘illegal' fishing by China in the Pacific, vowing to deploy a new generation of ‘Fast Response' boats in the region.

PUBLISHED: 01:29, Sat, Oct 24, 2020 | UPDATED: 01:29, Sat, Oct 24, 2020

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The news was announced yesterday by Robert O’Brien, US National Security Advisor. In a statement, Mr O’Brien described the US as a “Pacific power,” and said illegal fishing activity by China was a threat to US sovereignty.

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He said the new generation of response boats would be deployed in the western Pacific.

The security official said: “The People’s Republic of China’s illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing, and harassment of vessels operating in the exclusive economic zones of other countries in the Indo-Pacific, threatens our sovereignty, as well as the sovereignty of our Pacific neighbours and endangers regional stability.

“The USCG is strategically homeporting significantly enhanced Fast Response Cutters, built in a proven Louisiana-based shipyard, in the western Pacific.”

US Coast GuardThe US said it would send ships to help prevent illegal fishing in the Pacific (Image: Mike Hvozda / US Coast Guard / Getty)

It is understood the new boats will be tasked with conducting “maritime security missions” which would include patrolling fisheries.

Mr O’Brien added the boats would be deployed “in collaboration” with other US allies in the region whose offshore surveillance is more limited.

In addition, even more of the boats could be stationed in American Samoa, pending a survey in 2021.

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Richard O'BrienRichard O'Brien announced the news in a statement yesterday (Image: Saul Loeb / AFP / Getty)

The security official said: “If the survey is favourable, the United States could further expand its presence in

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