Published On: Tue, Sep 17th, 2019

South China Sea: Beijing unleashes colossal new ship to intimidate rivals as tensions soar

The new ship is intended to help China transport various supplies to the islands it controls in the disputed region. According to China’s state-operated Xinhua News Agency, the Sansha No.2 transport ship passed tests in August and can “cover the whole South China Sea”.

The agency added that it has a displacement of over 8,000 metric tons and will help civilian and military work.

The report suggests the ship can go 6,0000 kilometres without refuelling and carry up to 400 people, making it a perfect vessel for excursions and missions across the waters.

The technological advances the ship displays are prominent, as a vessel that went into use 11 years ago could carry just 2,540 metric tons.

The ship is currently intended to take equipment and personnel to the Parcel Islands, an area controlled by China.

Although, the islands are among the most disputed in the region, as Vietnam also claims to be the rightful owner.

The move to introduce the ship was not initially clear, but according to Jay Batongbacal, a professor at the University of the Philippines, China intends to use the ship in order to show other countries what it is capable of.

He said: “They’re expanding their capabilities in all areas.

“Deploying in the disputed areas is even more symbolic. It’s also more important for them, because they’re able to keep ahead.”

JUST IN: South China Sea: Fears of all out war as US warship confronts claims

China has a considerable advantage over other countries who make claim to the South China Sea given the Communist nation’s industrial and military might.

The People’s Liberation Army, China’s armed forces and the world’s third largest military outfit, flew bomber airplanes to the Spratly Islands last year.

According to the US Department of Defence, China plans to to deploy floating nuclear power stations to the sea in 2020.

Yesterday, the Daily Express reported on Beijing expelling a US Navy destroyer from waters near the Parcel Islands.

China’s defence ministry said it banished the vessel after describing the American patrol as an act of “trespass”.

The islands, claimed by China, Taiwan and Vietnam, sit in the middle of the highly contested South China Sea and are regular pawns in the territorial debate.

The US Navy’s guided missile destroyer USS Wayne E. Meyer sailed near the Parcels, known as the Xisha in China and Hoang Sa in Vietnam.

According to Senior Colonel Li Huamin, spokesman for the People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA) Southern Theatre Command, the ship sailed “without the permission of the Chinese government”.

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