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Chinese vessels leave local area after warnings

Date Posted: 2010-11-26

A pair of Chinese surveillance ships are in international waters, heading away from the Senkaku Islands where they were spotted Saturday and warned by the Japan Coast Guard.

The patrol boats from China’s agriculture ministry –the Yuzheng 310 and the Yuzheng 201-- were skirting Japanese waters in the East China Sea. Both were warned by the 11th Regional Coast Guard Headquarters to stay away from Japanese territorial waters, the fourth time in recent weeks Chinese vessels were ordered away from local waters. Coast Guard officials say one of the two surveillance ships was “state-of-the-art” and capable of carrying helicopters.

The Senkaku Islands are Japanese territory, a part of Okinawa Prefecture, but are claimed by both Taiwan and China. Tension over the islands has been building since September 7th, when a Chinese fishing trawler collided with two different Japan Coast Guard vessels who were ordering it away from the disputed islands.

The Chinese vessels maintained they were “performing rightful duties”, although Japanese officials noted there were no Chinese fishing vessels anywhere in the area where the surveillance ships were spotted. The warnings were issued about 36 kilometers west-northwest of Uotsuri Island.

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