As regional tensions continue to grow over overlapping claims in the South and East China Seas, China’s premier civilian maritime agency announced last week it would commission more than three dozen new vessels by next year.
Quoting Chinese government officials, the state-affiliated China Daily reported that to safeguard China’s huge maritime interests, the China Marine Surveillance (CMS) would add 36 ships to its fleet by next year. An unnamed CMS official said that seven vessels would have a displacement of 1,500 tonnes, 15 of 1,000 tonnes and 14 of 600 tonnes.
Construction of the 600-tonne cutters reportedly began on Tuesday in Weihai, Shandong Province.
The vessels will be distributed to 14 provinces, autonomous regions and cities along the Chinese coastline, it said.
Last week’s announcement seemed to indicate that the CMS was accelerating its acquisition of new vessels amid disputes with the Philippines, Vietnam and Japan. CMS Deputy Director Sun Shuxian (孫書賢) said in May last year that the 36 new ships would be acquired over the next five years as part of the 12th Five Year Plan approved by the State Council. Under the plan, the agency would also increase personnel by more than 1,000, to about 10,000, and China would “carry out regular sea patrols more frequently to strengthen law enforcement in Chinese-related waters to safeguard the country’s maritime rights in 2011.”
At the time of Sun’s announcement, the CMS counted a fleet of as many as 300 marine surveillance ships — including 30 with displacement of more than 1,000 tonnes — as well as six fixed-wing aircraft and four helicopters.
Jane’s Defence Weekly reported last year that a growing number of larger CMS vessels were capable of carrying helicopters and were becoming more advanced in terms of electronics and maneuverability.
CMS ships were recently involved in China’s dispute with the Philippines over the Scarborough Shoal (黃岩島) and are also used to enforce China’s claims to the Spratly (南沙群島) and Paracel islands (西沙群島) in the South China Sea, of which Taiwan is also a claimant. CMS patrol ships sailing close to the Diaoyutai Islands (釣魚台) have also sparked disputes with Japan.
WAR FUNDING: A report by UK and Ukrainian defense analysts said that Taiwanese exports of a compound used in gunpowder have been helping Russia propagate its war About 20 percent of nitrocellulose — a compound used in gunpowder — imported into Russia has been sourced from Taiwan, a joint British-Ukrainian investigative report showed. Nitrocellulose is a key component of smokeless gunpowder, and the EU has banned export of the compound to Russia due to its ongoing war of aggression against Ukraine. The report said that nitrocellulose produced in Taiwan makes its way to Russia by passing through other countries such as Turkey. Only one company, T.N.C. Industrial Co (台硝), was named in the report, which also named China and Germany as key sources of the compound for
ROAD SINKING: The road surface of Qingcheng Street near the intersection with Xingan Street in Taipei’s Songshan District collapsed on Friday at about 9pm Grouting was yesterday used to repair a section of road in Taipei, after work on a construction site caused the surface to partially collapse on Friday evening, the Taipei Construction Management Office said yesterday, adding that nearby buildings were not affected. The road surface of Qingcheng Street near the intersection with Xingan Street in Taipei’s Songshan District (松山) collapsed at about 9pm on Friday. When police arrived they found four cars parked by the roadside tilting to one side. Police estimated the area that had subsided was about 4m by 30m, and was about 1.5m deep. They cordoned off the surrounding area
A Singaporean social media streamer who goes by the pseudonym Kiaraakitty faked an egg attack by an alleged passerby during a livestream in Kaohsiung on Feb. 9, the city’s police department said on Saturday. The department was responding to the streamer’s claim earlier this month that a stranger had thrown eggs at her during a recent visit to Kaohsiung. Kiaraakitty is known for posting provocative content on livestreaming sites such as Twitch and Discord, as well as other social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook and YouTube. She also posts on paid adult content Web site OnlyFans. In the video dated Feb. 9,
TAIPEI WATCHING: The speedboat incident must be studied to prevent such incidents from recurring, president-elect William Lai was quoted as saying China’s launch of regular coast guard patrols in the Taiwan Strait after two Chinese sailors died fleeing from the Taiwanese coast guard is unlikely to trigger an escalation, analysts said yesterday. Beijing’s actions are aimed at applying pressure on Taipei and signaling its displeasure at president-elect William Lai (賴清德), not to raise the tensions in the Strait, Institute of National Defense and Security Research fellow Su Tzu-yun (蘇紫雲) said. The situation in the Taiwan Strait is “not particularly hot” as coast guards in the region have used water cannons and ramming during confrontations with foreign ships on multiple occasions, he said. Taiwan should