HOW FAR WILL THE DRAGON SWIM?
China Builds Something Very Similar To A High Endurance Coast Guard Cutter
Beijing, July 28 (IANS) "China launched its largest and most advanced patrol vessel Saturday in a bid to maintain its marine sovereignty and enhance its rescue efficiency, Xinhua reported.
Launched in Wuhan, a city in Hubei province, the ship -- Haixun01 -- is the first Chinese patrol vessel to simultaneously incorporate marine inspection and rescue functions.
It can accommodate 200 people rescued at sea and will be equipped with devices to offer basic medical treatment and surgeries. It also has a helipad so airborne search and rescue missions can be carried out from it.
The vessel will carry out missions regarding maritime inspection, safety monitoring, rescue, oil spill detection and handling, said Xu Guoyi, head of the Shanghai Maritime Bureau, which will manage the ship.
It is expected to be put into service by the end of this year, Xu added.
The 5,418-tonne Haixun01 is 128.6 metre long and has a maximum sailing distance of 10,000 nautical miles (18,520 km) without refueling, said Tang Gongjie, general manager of Wuchang Shipbuilding Industry Company Ltd, the builder of the ship."
Analysis: China seems to distinguish between its Naval and Coast Guard functions and is
attempting to utilize armed civilian agencies as much as possible in pushing its claim to all
of the South China sea. The armed vessels of the "Ocean Surveillance Service", Shanghai Marine
Bureau, and at least one agency engaged in fisheries enforcement carry out their activities as if
sovereignty were already achieved. Obviously the Chinese intend to argue "effective control" vice
possession by conquest. But it is conquest none the less. Rather than submit to an international
arbitration the Dragon muscles out the other claimants with armed vessels obviously planning on
making claims much later before any international tribunals arguing "effective
control". Naval conquest by any other name is still naval conquest.
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