For the first time in a few months, China has deployed naval vessels to patrol the waters near the disputed Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands to replace the marine surveillance vessels that were previously in the area. This comes a day after Beijing accused Japan of “making trouble” over the territorial row and told Japan to “stop encroaching” on their territory.
The Chinese People’s Liberation Army sent a two-vessel fleet, missile destroyer Lanzhou and missile frigate Hengshui which are both from the Navy’s Nanhai Fleet, to patrol the area, according to the state-run Xinhua news agency. They also conducted open-sea offensive and defensive training exercises on Sunday and Monday, as well as training for intercepting and searching illegal vessels. Previously, the PLA Navy’s Beihai Fleet and Donghai Fleet patrolled the area. On Tuesday morning, Japan Coast Guard reported three Beijing maritime patrol ships entering the waters, raising the tension even more as the two countries continue to assert their claims over the Japanese-controlled islands.
Chinese Defence Ministry spokesperson Yang Yujun said yesterday that they had the capability and determination to protect their territory if pushed by Japan. This statement was made after the release of a white paper on the Chinese military. The paper said that Japan was a trouble maker and that other countries, indirectly referring to the United States, are making the mood “tenser” in the East Asian region by strengthening their alliances and military position with countries like Japan and South Korea.
[ via Zee News ]