:China dispatches patrol boat to Singapore amid spike in South China Sea tensionsRead it on Global News: Global News:China dispatches patrol boat to Singapore

 

BEIJING – China has dispatched one of its largest maritime patrol ships on a
first-ever visit to the Southeast Asian city-state of Singapore amid a spike in
tensions over disputed territory in the South China Sea.

The Haixun-31 left Wednesday and will stay in Singapore for two weeks of
exchanges on search and rescue, anti-piracy and port management operations,

杭州楼凤

Chinese state media reported Thursday.

Similar ships have been accused of harassing foreign shipping in the South
China Sea, including U.S. Navy surveillance vessels.

China, Vietnam and the Philippines have traded diplomatic barbs recently over
claims to the resource-rich South China Sea and its island groups. Vietnam’s
navy conducted live-firing exercises Monday after accusing Chinese boats of
disrupting oil and gas exploration in its waters.

U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland told a news conference
Friday that the U.S. understood the Chinese ship was making a “routine, planned
visit” to Singapore. She reiterated that the South China Sea disputes should be
resolved through negotiations.

The 3,000-ton, helicopter-equipped Haixun-31 is one of two vessels of that
size belonging to the Maritime Safety Administration, one of five nominally
civilian agencies tasked with overseeing China’s interests at sea. All of those
departments are undergoing major expansions as Beijing moves to assert its
territorial claims and economic interests in both the South China Sea and the
East China Sea, where it has territorial disputes with Japan and
Taiwan.

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