Chinese police plan to board vessels in disputed seas
BEIJING (REUTERS) - Police in the southern Chinese island province of Hainan will board and search ships which enter into what China considers its territorial waters in the disputed South China Sea, state media said on Thursday, a move which could raise tensions further.
The South China Sea is Asia's biggest potential military trouble spot with several Asian countries claiming sovereignty.
New rules, which come into effect on January 1, will allow Hainan police to board and seize control of foreign ships which"illegally enter" Chinese waters and order them to change course or stop sailing, the official China Daily reported.
"Activities such as entering the island province's waters without permission, damaging coastal defence facilities and engaging in publicity that threatens national security are illegal," the English-language newspaper said.