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China transferring 'warships' near disputed islands

An unrelated file photo.

BEIJING (PTI): In a move that could escalate its tensions with Japan over the disputed islands, China is transferring "a number of warships in active service" to the China Marine Surveillance to help bridge the gap between the patrol vessels of both the countries.

The move will reinforce Chinese maritime strength amid territorial rows surrounding the disputed Islands in the East China Sea, called Diaoyu by China and Senkaku by Japan, official media here reported.

China has no Coast Guard. CMS is regarded as Chinese version of the Coast Guard.

Conventionally, the People's Liberation Army Navy hands over only retired warships to the CMS. However the vessels, which are expected to be transferred soon, are in active service, state-run Global Times quoted reports as saying.

The handover comes as the tensions between China and Japan entered a third month following the "purchase" of the Islands by the Japanese central government on September 11, forestalling an attempt by the Tokyo municipal authority, led by extreme nationalist Shintaro Ishihara, to buy the islands.

China condemned the move.

Jin Yongming, a researcher on maritime law, at the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times that the adaptation of warships and the building of new vessels will help consolidate China's patrols in its territorial waters.

The new warships, which have had their weapons dismantled, could improve the performance of China's law enforcement vessels.

The move came as both Chinese and Japanese vessels patrolled the disputed island waters till recently administered only by Japanese Coast Guard. But now Chinese ships are regularly patrolling the waters challenging the control of Japanese over the uninhabited islets.

Recent reports said both ships are asking each other to vacate the waters but so far no untoward incident has taken place.

Analysts say the two countries, which had a bilateral trade amounting to $345 billion could settle for a quiet diplomacy after the conclusion of the once-in-a-decade leadership change Congress of the ruling Communist Party which is set to conclude here on Wednesday.


China  Warship  Japan  Islands  

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