Taipei: Taiwan`s president has commissioned a new vessel to beef up patrol in a group of disputed islands in the East China Sea also claimed by China and Japan.
President Ma Ying-jeou Ma today commissioned the 2,000-ton Xinbei cutter, which is equipped with machine guns and water cannons. The vessel will join a fleet of smaller ships to patrol the islands, known in China as Diaoyu and in Japan as Senkaku.
On board the ship off southern Kaohsiung harbour, Ma renewed his calls for parties to negotiate and set aside their claims to the islands and jointly develop the rich natural resources there.
China has so far ignored Ma`s offer because it still sees Taiwan as part of its territory more than six decades after they split amid civil war.