Chinese plan extended stay in Senkaku Islands waters

If the head of China’s Oceanic Administration is to be believed that there’s “no time limit” for Chinese patrol boats to be in waters surrounding the Senkaku Islands, the Japan Coast Guard better begin beefing up its forces.

Oceanic Administration Secretary Liu Cigui is being quoted in a Beijing newspaper as saying it’s “important” for China to “safeguard” China’s claim to the islands, which it calls Diaoyu.  Liu, a former Fujian Province official in southeast China who was promoted to the Oceanic Administration early last year, has called the Hong Kong activists who landed on the Senkaku Islands earlier this fall “patriots”.

The Japan Coast Guard, meanwhile, says Chinese surveillance ships have been sailing in an area just outside Japanese territorial waters around the disputed Senkaku Islands.  The Coast Guard’s 11th Regional Coast Guard Headquarters in Naha says the Chinese vessels have been in the Japanese region for 23 consecutive days.

The Coast Guard says it continues to warn the Chinese vessels via radio not to enter Japanese territorial waters.  One vessel responded to the Japanese warning by declaring it was on a regular patrol of areas administered by China.