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US: China rules for disputed seas 'provocative'

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. says new restrictions by Chinese authorities on other countries' fishermen in the disputed South China Sea are "provocative and potentially dangerous."

The regulations took effect this month. They require foreign fishermen to ask China's permission to operate within most of the vast, strategic waterway.

The State Department said Thursday the regulations appear to apply to extensive maritime claims for which China has not offered any explanation or basis under international law.

The affected waters cover much of the South China Sea. It's an area that includes island groups also claimed by Vietnam, the Philippines and others.

It follows China's late November announcement of a new air defense zone requiring foreign planes to notify Beijing of flights over a huge swath of the East China Sea.

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