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China commissions largest fisheries patrol vessel

Central News Agency

2012/12/11 19:23:21

Taipei, Dec. 11 (CNA) China commissioned its largest and most advanced fisheries patrol vessel Tuesday amid escalating disputes with Japan over islands in the East China Sea, according to the country's state-run Xinhua news agency.

The Yu Zheng 206, with a displacement of 5,800 tons, will be operated by the State Fishery Administration and will enhance the country's ability to enforce the law and protect the rights of Chinese fishermen in China's territorial waters in the East China Sea, Xinhua reported.

The news came just as the Japan Broadcasting Corp. (NHK) reported in Tokyo that two patrol vessels from China's State Oceanic Administration were spotted in Japanese territorial waters off the Diaoyutai islands, an archipelago located in East China Sea that are claimed by Japan, China and Taiwan.

The NHK quoted officers from the 11th Regional Coast Guard Headquarters in Naha, Okinawa as saying that the two ships were spotted 22 km north-northeast of the Diaoyutais that day.

The two vessels kept sailing in Japanese waters despite Japanese patrol vessels' demands on radio for them to leave, said NHK.

Japanese patrol boats followed the Chinese vessels. It was the 15th intrusion into Japanese waters by Chinese patrol vessels since September, when Tokyo nationalized the disputed Diaoyutais, known in Japan as the Senkakus, said NHK.

(By Yang Ming-chu and Maubo Chang)

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