China is further increasing the stakes when it comes to its claim of most of the territories along the South China Sea. Today, state media is reporting that the Chinese government bureau has just announced its plans to put up a base station for an advanced rescue ship in Spratly islands, a territory that remains the subject of dispute today.
Officials have said that the new rescue base station would enable them to come to the rescue of fishing boats in trouble in a shorter amount of time. The rescue ship is also expected to carry some drones and underwater robots to assist with its operations.
According to Chen Xingguang, the political commissar of the ship under the South China Rescue Bureau of China’s Ministry of Transport, the said rescue ship is expected to be deployed during the second half of the year.
At the same time, Chinese tourists are also joining in on the territorial dispute. According to a report from the South China Morning Post, some cruises are now taking their guests to Paracel Islands where they pose for pictures while proudly holding up a Chinese flag. They also like to leave notes on the islands. One of which said, “The South China Sea belongs to China.”
Tensions continue to rise along the South China Sea as China continues with various construction projects on several of the islands it is still in dispute with as the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan continue to protest. The U.S. has also accused China of militarizing the disputed islands as it build airstrips and a host of military facilities.
In response to increase Chinese aggression, the U.S. has decided to increase its military presence in the region, announcing they would also be putting up more military bases in the Philippines, an ally who is trying to stake its claim on the Scarborough Shoal.
Meanwhile, the Chinese consulate in Vancouver had recently taken out a huge ad in the weekend Globe, according to a report from Quartz. The ad pointed out that the Philippines has violated International Law by taking its territorial issues with China to arbitration court at The Hague.
According to a report from Reuters, China has also built two lighthouses and beacons on the disputed Paracel Islands along with four base stations for radio communications and civilian telecommunications networks.