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English>>China Politics

China steps up vigilance at sea

By Wang Qian (China Daily)

08:48, September 17, 2012

China is strengthening its maritime surveillance capacities to deal with the complicated sea disputes and safeguard the country's maritime rights, a senior official said on Sunday.

The China Marine Surveillance fleet will enhance patrols off the important islands to demonstrate the country's sovereignty, Xiao Huiwu, deputy director of CMS told China Daily.

"CMS will stop all the illegal activities in the country's territorial waters, guaranteeing China's maritime rights," Xiao said.

On Sept 14, six Chinese surveillance ships patrolled the waters around China's Diaoyu Islands after Beijing announced the exact longitude and latitude of Diaoyu Island and 70 of its affiliated islets and published location and topographical maps and sketches of the island on Sept 15.

During the patrol, illegal ships and planes were detected and CMS officers demanded they leave, demonstrating the country's jurisdiction over the islands and their affiliated waters, Xiao said.

It is one of the series of actions taken by China after Tokyo announced its intention to "purchase" and "nationalize" the Diaoyu Islands.

Xiao said CMS is responsible for enforcing laws and order within China's territorial waters, exclusive economic zones and shores, protecting the maritime environment and natural resources and carrying out maritime surveys.

"It is our duty to protect the country's maritime interests," he said, adding that the daily law enforcement work conducted by CMS is based on the law on island protection, the law on territorial sea and the contiguous zone and other laws.

On Sept 12, the State Oceanic Administration released on its website a new regulation to protect territorial waters, "providing legal support to the CMS in law enforcement during offshore patrols", Lu Caixia, director of the islands management department at the agency said.

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