China to keep patrols at contested islands

Jan. 10, 2013 at 3:50 PM

BEIJING, Jan. 10 (UPI) -- China will continue to regularly patrol the waters off islands in the South China Sea also claimed by Japan, a government official said Thursday.

Liu Caigui, director of the State Oceanic Administration, told a national maritime conference China will "take more responsibilities to steadfastly maintain the country's maritime rights and interests," Xinhua reported.

He said China would oppose any infringement of the country's territorial waters by Japan, Vietnam or the Philippines.

For the past four months, Chinese ships and planes have patrolled the waters off a chain of tiny islands claimed by China, Japan and Taiwan. China calls the islands Diaoyu; Japan calls them Senkaku.

In April 2012, Chinese surveillance vessels rescued fishermen being intimidated by a Filipino warship.

On Wednesday, Japan was reported planning to fire "warning shots" if it encountered Chinese surveillance planes over the islands.

Related UPI Stories
Latest Headlines
Trending Stories
TSU shooting: 1 dead, 1 wounded in third shooting this week at Houston campus
Listeria threat prompts Whole Foods cheese recall
Russia says missiles aimed at Syria did not land in Iran
Captive orca breeding banned at California's SeaWorld
Wrong drug used in Oklahoma execution