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China to set up satellite to strengthen maritime power

China to set up satellite to strengthen maritime power
Many of China’s neighbours, including Japan, the Philippines and Vietnam, have expressed concern at China’s military build-up and increasingly assertive posture in the region.

The network, which an official from the State Oceanic Administration called “fundamental” to protecting China’s maritime interests, is set to be completed by 2020, the newspaper said. The network would cover coastal waters, the high seas and polar waters, the report said, adding that undersea observation operations and tsunami warning stations would also be built.

The network would help China realize the potential for resources in China’s marine areas, the report said. It did not mention how much the network would cost to build.

China lays claim to almost all of the South China Sea, believed to be rich in minerals and oil-and-gas deposits. Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Taiwan also have claims.

In the East China Sea, a string of islets claimed by both China and Japan, known in China as the Diaoyu and in Japan as the Senkaku, have strained ties. Patrol ships and fighter jets from both countries have shadowed each other regularly near the uninhabited islands, sparking fears an accidental collision or other incident could escalate into a larger conflict.

US President Barack Obama last month sought to reassure Asia-Pacific allies about Washington’s strategic shift toward the region, alluding to Beijing’s maritime disputes with its neighbours. Obama promised continued efforts to enhance security ties with countries including longtime close ally Japan and former foe Vietnam.
Agencies

Agencies

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