Monday, August 12, 2013

New Chinese Navy vessels pack Zhoushan port on east coast

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Taipei,  A dozen Chinese navy warships, including the latest model destroyers and frigates, have docked in a naval port in Zhoushan, a coastal city in Zhejiang Province, according to pictures posted on the Chinese news website

According to a report on the website Friday, the pictures taken by netizens showed more than 10 naval vessels of various sizes, including destroyers, frigates and supply ships, and some Internet users described the port as being packed with ships.

The Dinghai military port in Zhoushan is one of three bases of the Chinese Navy's East Sea Fleet and the fleet's primary port, the report said, but it did not comment on the significance of the buildup.

The fleet consists of seven missile-guided destroyers, 24 missile-guided frigates, seven submarines and three composite supply vessels.

The Zhoushan naval base, which faces Japan's Kyushu, offers the most accessible channel for the Chinese Navy to enter the West Pacific Ocean and the East China Sea, where the disputed Diaoyutai Islands are located.

China and Japan have been at loggerheads over the islands, which are also claimed by Taiwan, since Japan moved to nationalize them last September by buying some of the rocky outcrops from their private owners.

Beijing has responded by repeatedly sending naval vessels near the islands, which are administratively controlled by Japan.

Most recently, four Chinese naval ships sent to patrol waters off the disputed islands for 28 hours from Aug. 7 to Aug. 8 were still in the vicinity of the islands on Aug. 9, according to information released by the Japan Coast Guard.

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