About 300 Chinese maritime militia ships operate on the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea on any given day.said a report by a group of American experts.
The report of Center for Strategic and International Studies, based in Washington, argues that the militia, made up mostly of fishing vessels, continues to expand and has participated in aggressive operations since 2000.
“Since the completion of China’s artificial island outposts in 2016, militia ships have deployed to the Spratlys in greater numbers and more consistently than ever”Said the report funded by the US State Department, cited by South China Morning Post.
“The militia, as currently constituted in the South China Sea, operates from a chain of 10 ports in China’s Guangdong and Hainan provinces. Remote sensing data indicate that some 300 militia ships operate on the Spratly Islands on any given day”Says the text.
The report also states that the Chinese regime subsidizes ships for fuel with 24,175 yuan ($ 3,700) a day.
The report, titled “Pulling Back the Curtain on China’s Maritime Militia”, identified 122 ships of the militia, as well as another 52 that are considered probably part of it, relying on media, remote sensing data and maritime patrols in the disputed waters.
Assures that about a hundred militia ships were deployed near the Philippine-occupied island of Thitu, in 2018, and around 200 gathered on the unoccupied Whitsun Reef in this 2021.
The presence of the militias on the Whitsun Reef caused a diplomatic confrontation between the regime and the Philippines.
According to him think tank of Washington, the maritime militia interferes with fishing, the exploitation of the seabed and other activities of the Southeast Asian States, and cites the example of the ship Bin Hai 285, involved in the attack on the Vietnamese surveillance ship KN-951 in 2014.
Furthermore, he argues that the troops are more aggressive when it comes to “harassing foreign military activity that Beijing opposed”, and gives the example of an incident that occurred in March 2009, when the US surveillance ship USNS Flawless it was surrounded by five Chinese vessels – including two fishing boats – while operating 75 nautical miles south of Hainan.
The owners of the militia ships are concentrated along the along the Chinese coast closest to the disputed waters, with 22 out of 28 companies and fishing cooperatives identified as direct owners of at least one militia vessel or probable militia based in Guangdong province, according to the South China Morning Post.
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