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China adds destroyers to marine surveillance: Report

Published on Dec 31, 2012 3:20 PM
A handout picture taken by the Japan Coast Guard on Dec 17, 2012 shows a Chinese marine surveillance ship cruising near the disputed islands known as Senkaku islands in Japan and Diaoyu islands in China, in the East China Sea. -- PHOTO: AFP

BEIJING (AFP) - China has transferred two destroyers and nine other ex-navy vessels to its maritime surveillance fleet, reports said on Monday, as it moves to beef up its position in bitter territorial rows with Japan and other neighbours.

Beijing renovated the ships and transferred them to surveillance operations to "alleviate the insufficiency of vessels used to protect maritime interests", said a report on Tencent, one of China's major news portals.

China is embroiled in a maritime dispute with Japan that has seen tensions between the two Asian giants, the world's second- and third-largest economies, at times reach fever pitch.

It is also engaged in a simmering row with its southern neighbours over its claim to vast swathes of the South China Sea.

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