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Beijing shows resolve to assert South China Sea claims with new rules on foreign fishing

China says it's beefing up its police powers in the disputed South China Sea and requiring foreign fishermen to ask Beijing's permission to operate within about two-thirds of the vast, strategic waterway.

The rules take effect this month and are part of a broadening campaign by Beijing to enforce its territorial claims. They come on the heels of the 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, where China is locked in a bitter territorial dispute with Japan.

The steps add to concerns that President Xi Jinping's push to assert China's role as a regional power could spark a confrontation with neighbors.