South China Sea fishermen worry territorial disputes will harm livelihoods

World Today

Tensions in the South China Sea are one of the enduring challenges for the Chinese government. CGTN’s Han Bin visits the region, to learn more about its history and the lives of fishermen.

South China Sea fishermen worry territorial disputes will harm livelihoods

South China Sea fishermen worry territorial disputes will harm livelihoods

Tensions in the South China Sea are one of the enduring challenges for the Chinese government. CGTN’s Han Bin visits the region, to learn more about its history and the lives of fishermen.

Clouds of contention gather over the South China Sea.

Tanmen is a small fishing town, known for its role in China’s maritime rights. It’s also known for keeping a key piece of historical evidence, the ancient nautical guide known as the Genglubu.

Lu Yefa, 90, owns a version of this nautical guide. The family treasure was handed down from his father and grandfather.

Lu Yefa shows us how to use the nautical chart with a compass and the Genglubu. He says he’s sailed to almost all reefs in the Nansha Islands, also called the Spratlys, from different directions.

Chinese fishermen in ancient times gave names to more than a 100 islands and reefs, many of which are still used today.

With little arable land, fishing is the only way for Tanmen people to make a living. A big boat, and sailing farther out, is the natural choice to catch big fish and earn big money.

But territorial disputes are making their lives even harder.