News / Asia

China to Start Regular Patrols from Island in South China Sea

Reuters
— China will base a 5,000-ton civilian patrol ship on one of the main islands it controls in the disputed South China Sea and begin regular patrols, an official newspaper said on Tuesday. The move is likely to add fuel to territorial disputes with neighbors.
 
The China Ocean News, published by the State Oceanic Administration, said the ship would be based on Woody Island, which China calls Sansha city, on the Paracel Islands.
 
China will “gradually establish a regular patrol system on Sansha city to jointly protect the country's maritime interests,” the report added. It will continue to build infrastructure on the island as well as a “joint platform for sharing maritime security data.”
 
China is in an increasingly angry dispute with its neighbors over claims to parts of the potentially oil- and gas-rich South China Sea. China lays claim to almost the whole of the sea, which is criss-crossed by crucial shipping lanes.
 
It upset the Philippines and the United States this month when rules went into force demanding fishing boats seek permission to enter waters under the jurisdiction of China's southern province of Hainan, an area the provincial government says covers much of the South China Sea.
 
Chinese patrols in the South China Sea are generally conducted by civilian vessels, though China's navy routinely carries out drills there, including late last year by the country's first aircraft carrier.
 
The newspaper did not say when the patrols would begin, though it did say one of their focuses would be on search and rescue operations and the “speedy, orderly and effective emergency response to sudden incidents at sea.”
 
China formally approved the establishment of a military garrison in Sansha two years ago. Sansha administers the mostly uninhabited islands in the South China Sea which China claims.
 
China took full control of the Paracels - a cluster of close to 40 islets, outcrops and reefs - in 1974 after a naval showdown with what was then South Vietnam, and there have been incidents ever since. Taiwan also claims the Paracels.
 
Vietnam has accused China of harassing and even opening fire on fishing boats near the Paracels, charges Beijing has either denied or defended as a legitimate means of protecting its sovereignty.
 
Vietnam, Taiwan, Brunei, Malaysia and the Philippines also claim other parts of the South China Sea, including the Spratly Islands. China has a separate dispute with Japan in the East China Sea.

You May Like

Diplomats Work to Extend Israeli-Palestinian Cease-Fire

US Secretary of State John Kerry, diplomats from France, Britain, Germany, Italy, Turkey and Qatar gathered in Paris Saturday to discuss crisis More

Photogallery US Defense Department Warns of Arms to Eastern Ukraine

‘Imminent’ delivery of Russian rocket launcher poses threat to civilians, US says More

Video Researchers: Africa Genetically Modified Crops Held Back by Scaremongering

GM crops offer best hope of increasing productivity and coping with climate change in Africa, according to co-author of Chatham House report More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Astronauts Train in Underwater Labi
X
George Putic
July 25, 2014 7:25 PM
In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid