China plans new patrol in disputed West Philippine Sea

/ 04:59 AM January 22, 2014

BEIJING—China will set up new civilian patrols with a 5,000-ton vessel in the disputed West Philippine Sea (South China Sea), state-run media said on Tuesday, in another move that could inflame territorial disputes.

Beijing claims much of the waters and has put a vast swathe of it under the administration of Sansha City, in the contested Paracel islands, which also hosts a military garrison.


Local authorities will “provide a 5,000-ton patrol vessel at Sansha and gradually set up a system of three regular patrols,” China Ocean News reported, citing an agreement between the city and the island province of Hainan, which oversees it.

The intent was to “safeguard national sovereign rights and benefits, develop at-sea assistance, ensure navigational safety” among other reasons, the report said.


Even minor moves by China that appear to assert territorial claims can provoke a regional reaction, as the Asian giant is engaged in disputes with several neighbors, including an escalating row with Japan over islands in the East China Sea which has raised fears of unintended conflict.

Portions of the West Philippine Sea are also claimed by the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan.

Earlier this month, both the United States and Philippines criticized a law approved in Hainan last November reaffirming an existing requirement that foreign fishing vessels obtain permission to enter its waters.

Beijing also declared last November an Air Defense Identification Zone over parts of the East China Sea—including the islands disputed with Japan—provoking vehement condemnation from Tokyo and Washington.

Aircraft entering the zone were required to identify themselves and maintain communication with Chinese authorities.

Read Next
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.
View comments

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: China, Global Nation, sea dispute, South China Sea, territorial dispute, West Philippine Sea
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.

© Copyright 1997-2020 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.