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International relations

China lifts annual fishing ban in East China Sea, signals restraint

Fishermen told to avoid 'sensitive waters,' tamping down Senkakus flashpoint with Japan

A Chinese missile frigate enters waters near the Senkaku Islands. (Photo courtesy of Japan's Ministry of Defense)   © Kyodo

BEIJING -- China on Tuesday lifted its annual ban on its fishing vessels in East China Sea waters that include the Japanese-controlled Senkaku Islands, but whether any boats will be allowed to operate in sensitive areas is uncertain.

Local Chinese authorities have told fishing vessels to avoid sensitive waters. How thoroughly that order will be enforced is unclear.

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