Six Chinese ships patrol disputed islands
Beijing: Six Chinese surveillance ships arrived Friday in the waters around the Diaoyu Islands and began patrolling and law enforcement duties, reports said.
This is the first time Chinese surveillance ships are in the area after Beijing on Monday announced the base points and baselines of the territorial waters of the Diaoyu Islands and its islets.
These law enforcement and patrol activities are aimed to demonstrate China`s jurisdiction over the Diaoyu Islands and ensure the country`s maritime interests, according to a government statement.
The disputed islands in the East China Sea, which are also claimed by Taiwan, lie on a vital shipping route and are surrounded by large hydrocarbon deposits beneath them.
Japan says it has controlled the islands since 1895 until its surrender at the end of World War II. The islands were controlled by the US from 1945 to 1972 and subsequently returned to Japan`s control. China claims the islands` discovery and control since the 14th century.
The islands, known as Senkaku in Japanese and Diaoyu in Chinese, are near potentially huge maritime gas and oil fields.
(With IANS inputs)
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