The Chinese Foreign Ministry on Wednesday urged the Korean government to halt what it called "violent law enforcement" against Chinese fishermen caught in Korea’s territorial waters. The comments came after a Chinese fisherman died from a rubber bullet fired by Korean Coast Guard commandos while trying to resist arrest.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei expressed "serious concern" over the incident and demanded a thorough investigation and "concrete measures to prevent violent law enforcement and similar incidents from happening again."
Hong's comments were the first response from the Chinese government since the fisherman's death. But the ministry cancelled plans to send the Chinese ambassador to Korea, Zhang Xinsen, to the Foreign Ministry here to protest.
Experts say Beijing is keen to avoid straining relations with Seoul amid rising tensions in Northeast Asia over territorial disputes. China also appears to have taken on board news that the fisherman died while resisting arrest using a weapon.