When all is said and done, and war breaks out, China will be able to mobilize over 172,000 civilian vessels for war (See also HERE and HERE). If the Russians are capable of loading freight vessels with cruise missile launchers disguised as shipping containers, it couldn’t be hard to imagine their Chinese partners being capable of the same.
Manila (AFP) – China is using its fishing fleets with armed escorts to bolster maritime claims in disputed territory, a senior US State Department official warned Wednesday, calling China’s behaviour “disturbing”.
The comments came after Indonesian warships fired warning shots and detained a Chinese-flagged fishing boat and seven crew near the Natuna Islands in the South China Sea last week, in actions slammed by Beijing.
“I think it’s a disturbing trend to see Chinese fishing vessels accompanied by coast guard vessels, used in a way that appears to be an attempt to exert a claim that may not be legitimate,” said the US official via conference call to journalists in Southeast Asia.
“I do think that it does point to an expanding presence of Chinese — sort of military and paramilitary forces — and used in a way that is provocative and potentially destabilising,” the US official, who asked not to be named, added.
Full article: China using fishing fleets to expand maritime claims: US official (Yahoo!)