China Rescue Vessel in Disputed Sea Described as Public Relations Move

Beijing has stationed its first permanent search and rescue ship in a hotly disputed part of the South China Sea as a public relations move after alarming smaller countries with a military buildup in the same waters, analysts say. The Ministry of Transport in China sent the vessel, called South Sea Rescue 115, to the Spratly Islands on July 27, the official Xinhua News Agency said. The vessel can work in storm gales and waves up to six meters high, according to Xinhua. It’s also equipped with a helicopter pad. More such vessels will be built, the agency added. The ministry’s Rescue and Salvage Bureau will “consistently improve its standby mechanism in the South China Sea region to better carry out maritime rescue duties and obligations under international treaties,” bureau head Wang Zhenliang said as quoted by Xinhua. China may have sent and publicized this vessel’s deployment to look good after angering other states over militarization, experts say. “The whole thing about making big announcements about like having a humanitarian activity is kind of just trying to put a friendly veneer on top of what is pretty clearly militarization and just trying to kind of like brainwash,” said Jonathan Spangler, director of the South China Sea Think Tank in Taipei. Military buildup Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam contest all or part of Beijing’s claims to about 90 percent of the South China Sea including the Spratly Islands. The sea, which covers 3.5 million square kilometers, is prized for fisheries, oil, natural gas and shipping lanes. China cites historical records to support its claims. Over the past decade it has used landfill to expand some of the sea’s tiny islets. That expansion, followed in some cases by military installations, irritates other claimants as China has the region’s strongest armed... If you wish to read this full breaking news headline, plus more articles from around Thailand and Asia like, China Rescue Vessel in Disputed Sea Described as Public Relations Move, simply click on 'Read full story' below, but 1st please give us a 'LIKE' or 'SHARE' before you leave. Thank you China Rescue Vessel in Disputed Sea Described as Public Relations Move





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Published By: VOA NEWS - Monday, 13 August, 2018



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