Chinese patrol ship Yuzheng-310 reaches waters off Scarborough Shoal

File photo of Yuzheng-310, China's most advanced fishery patrol ship.

The Yuzheng-310 (渔政310船), China’s most advanced fishery patrol ship, arrived in waters off the coast of Huangyan Island (Scarborough Shoal) in the South China Sea at Friday noon, starting its mission to protect the country’s interests in territorial waters, fishery authorities said.

The 2,580-tonne ship set sail from the southern port city of Guangzhou on Wednesday.

China has beefed up patrols in the South China Sea to protect the country’s maritime rights and interests as Chinese fishing boats have been frequently harassed or seized by armed ships of neighboring countries. Twelve Chinese fishing boats were harassed last week by a Philippine Navy gunboat while taking refuge from harsh weather in a lagoon near China’s Huangyan Island.

The Yuzheng-310 will conduct routine patrols in waters off the coast of Huangyan Island, so as to protect China’s sea rights and ensure the safety of Chinese fishermen, said a statement released Friday by the South China Sea Fishery Bureau under the Ministry of Agriculture.

Xinhua