Cross-province patrol begins in South China Sea

Updated: 2012-11-09 01:10

By WANG QIAN (China Daily)

  Print Mail Large Medium  Small 分享按钮 0

Cross-province patrol begins in South China Sea

The maritime safety administrations of three provinces and one autonomous region - Guangxi, Guangdong, Fujian and Hainan - launch their first joint patrol in the South China Sea on Wednesday. Haixun 31, one of China's largest patrol ships, is part of the five-day patrol fleet. [Photo/Xinhua]

An insider told China Daily that a high-level maritime interests protection office was established recently with heads of the related ministries or administrations on board.

Sea disputes between China and other countries have surged this year.

The Philippines and Vietnam have tried to expand their sovereignty claim over the islands in the South China Sea, and tension in the area has not been helped by the presence of United States aircraft carriers and the announcement in October that US ships will travel through the South China Sea in order to pay a visit to the Philippines.

In April, despite strong opposition from China, Vietnam granted the Oil and Natural Gas Corp Videsh of India oil exploration rights in the South China Sea.

Li Jieyu, a political studies researcher at Hainan Provincial Party School, has previously told China Daily that although China is facing increasingly complicated sea disputes, the country has always shown the utmost restraint when dealing with them. Li also said China should pay more attention to safeguarding its maritime sovereignty and stand firm on issues concerning sovereignty.

Qi Jianguo, the former Chinese ambassador to Vietnam, said that the island dispute shows how urgent it is that China strengthen its maritime law enforcement capacity.