The American marine forces released a report criticising China for disregarding “territorial integrity” which “threatens the stability of nations”. China has the largest distant water fishing fleet in the world, according to the report.

The US warned Beijing that it must be more responsible in sovereign waters and comply with international agreements.

The report read: “The People’s Armed Forces Maritime Militia, estimated to include more than 3,000 vessels, actively carries out aggressive behaviour on the high seas and in sovereign waters of other nations to coerce and intimidate legitimate fishers in support of the Chinese Communist Party’s long term maritime strategic goals.

“China must exercise more responsible flag state control over its vessels, including its DWF, and demonstrate that it is taking the necessary steps to ensure compliance with international norms and governance structures.”

The US urged that sovereign nations must be allowed to “benefit from their own economic resources”.

Last year, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration identified that China had a “troubling expanse of alleged violations” by fishing vessels.

The US Coast Guard has increased its tough stance near China’s waters.

American military forces have been conducting marine exercises in the South China Sea.

The US Coast Guard has also joined the US Navy in freedom of navigation operations across the Taiwan Strait.

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Earlier this year, Admiral Karl Schultz US Coast Guard Commandant, said in annual state of the Coast Guard address that China was “one of the worst predatory fishing offenders”.

He said China posed a threat to the food security of other nations and that the problem goes beyond conservation and sustainability.

Mr Schultz added: “This is a national security challenge warranting a clear response.”

Eighty percent of fish consumed in the US is imported, according to the US Coast Guard report.

It warned that “without effective traceability and monitoring, illegally caught fish around the world can enter the US market”.

The report also reiterated Mr Schultz emphasis on predatory behaviour.

It said: “Predatory and irresponsible nations that turn a blind eye to IUU fishing distort markets with aggressive economic policies, undermine free and open democracies, challenge security and prosperity, and destabilize at-risk nations around the globe.

“Predatory nations seek to expand the reaches of their own state-driven economic models and grow their power at the expense of the sovereignty of others.”

The reported added that the US will “confront the actions of predatory and irresponsible State actors”.

source: express.co.uk

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