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Another Chinese ship ventures near disputed Senkaku islands

Date Posted: 2011-08-04

A Chinese maritime research ship has been cruising in waters near the Senkaku islands, and has ignored Japan Coast Guard warnings to stay out of the Japanese exclusive economic zone.

The Chinese marine research ship Beidou ignored Japanese warnings not to conduct research and to depart the area, and continued sailing without responding to the Japanese instructions. The vessel was trailing four wire-like objects as it patrolled the area, which is rich in undersea natural resources.

The Senkaku Islands, known as Diaoyu by the Chinese and Taiwanese, are a sore spot for Chinese and Taiwanese, who both also claim sovereignty over the islands. The Coast Guard plane flew over the Chinese vessel about 60 kilometers off Uotsuri. It was the first time this year a research vesselís been spotted in the area.

Japanís coast guard on Sunday warned a Chinese marine research ship sailing near a disputed island chain against conducting surveys there.

Beijing and Tokyo are often at odds over disputed maritime territories, and Japan has been vocal in expressing concern about Chinaís more aggressive maritime stance and increased defense spending. The two countries locked horns last September after Japan arrested a Chinese fishing trawler captain for being in the waters, and then for running into two Japan Coast Guard patrol vessels as he tried to flee.

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