Maritime authorities say China’s coastguard presence in the South China Sea will be strengthened with a vessel to patrol the Paracel Islands. Photo: Reuters

South China Sea: Beijing unveils US$23.5 million contract for coastguard ship to patrol Paracel Islands

  • Vessel is part of maritime agency’s plans to take enforcement fleet to 20
  • US says coastguard and fishing boats will be dealt with as naval vessels
Topic |   South China Sea

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Maritime authorities say China’s coastguard presence in the South China Sea will be strengthened with a vessel to patrol the Paracel Islands. Photo: Reuters
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The USS Blue Ridge, flagship of the US 7th fleet, anchored off Manila Bay in the Philippines for a routine port call on March 13. Under the new calculus, if the Philippine military were attacked by Chinese militia — essentially fishing boats backed by coastguard vessels — the treaty-bound US would be obligated to strike back. Photo: AP
Brian P. Klein
Opinion

Opinion

Brian P. Klein

How China’s ‘maritime militia’ raises the stakes for clashes with the US in the South China Sea

  • Change in US military protocol means Chinese ‘militia’ and navy are treated the same, and skirmishes could quickly escalate into armed conflict
  • What is needed is an effective and regular mechanism for two of the world’s largest military powers to address their issues peacefully

TOP PICKS

The USS Blue Ridge, flagship of the US 7th fleet, anchored off Manila Bay in the Philippines for a routine port call on March 13. Under the new calculus, if the Philippine military were attacked by Chinese militia — essentially fishing boats backed by coastguard vessels — the treaty-bound US would be obligated to strike back. Photo: AP
READ FULL ARTICLE