One of China’s largest fisheries patrol ships has arrived in the disputed Paracel Islands.
The move comes after China protested to Manila over new legislation proclaiming Philippine sovereignty over parts of the disputed Spratly islands.
Both the Paracels – known in China as Xisha – and the Spratlys are subject to overlapping claims.
Separately, China and the US were involved in naval skirmishes last weekend off China’s island of Hainan.
The China Daily said that the patrol ship, a retired Chinese navy rescue vessel, the China Yuzheng 311, set sail from Guangzhou last week and reached the Paracel island group during the weekend.
Read the rest from the BBC:
A file Philippine Air Force photo shows Chinese built structures on the Mischief Reef in the disputed Spratly islands in the South China Sea. China on Monday defended its move to send a patrol ship to the disputed Spratly islands, saying it was not a violation of an agreement to maintain the peace in the area.(AFP/PAF/HO/File)
From China Daily
China’s largest fishery patrol ship has started its way to the Xisha Islands to enhance the fishery protection and maritime surveillance efforts in the South China Sea.
The ship, China Yuzheng 311, sailed at midday Tuesday from Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong Province.
Yang Jian, a Ministry of Agriculture engineer, said given the country’s heavy task of maritime rights and interests protection, the vessel would reinforce the fishery administration in the South China Sea.
China Yuzheng 311 was converted from a rescue vessel of Chinese navy. It is 113.5 meters long and 15.5 meters wide and at 4,450 tonnes.
The patrol ship will be in charge of maritime patrol in China’s exclusive economic zones, navigation protection and fishery emergencies.