- - Thursday, October 28, 2010

CHINA

Fleet expands to ‘safeguard sea rights’

BEIJING | China is expanding its naval surveillance fleet to better protect its maritime rights, state media reported Thursday amid bitter deep-sea territorial disputes with neighboring nations.

An official at the State Oceanic Administration (SOA), which oversees China’s maritime rights, said an inspection ship already had joined the fleet and another 36 would be added later, according to the official China Daily newspaper.

The report said the latest ship — China Marine Surveillance 75 — would patrol the South China Sea, where Beijing has a number of territorial disputes over potentially resource-rich islands.

China insists that it has complete sovereignty over the Spratly and Paracel islands in the South China Sea, but the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan have competing claims.

JAPAN

Video of boat collisions given to parliament

TOKYO | Video footage of collisions between Chinese and Japanese boats near a disputed island chain was submitted to Japan’s parliament on Wednesday, threatening to inflame the row between the Asian giants.

Parliamentarians were due to debate if and when the video, filmed by the coast guard and submitted by prosecutors, will be shown to legislators.

Prime Minister Naoto Kan watched the six-minute video together with his right-hand man, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshito Sengoku, who declined to share details of the footage with journalists.

The developments come amid the worst row in years between Beijing and Tokyo, and as Kan and his Chinese counterpart, Wen Jiabao, prepared to head to a regional summit where they may meet this week.

The video footage was taken seven weeks ago by Japan’s coast guard in the tense incident that started the diplomatic row near the disputed East China Sea island chain known as Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China.

VIETNAM

Jail, arrests contradict rights commitments

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