China has once again highlighted its aims to bolster its claim over a widely contested sea in the face of U.S. opposition, with the passage of an uninvited Chinese civilian ship across part of Malaysia’s continental shelf this month.
According to the ship activity maps, a U.S. think tank and a U.S. Naval War College researcher, the Sansha II, a 400-seat transport vessel, parked briefly at James Shoal around July 16, returned to a base closer to the Chinese mainland.
China vies for sovereignty over the sea with Malaysia, Brunei, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam, all of which are not strong enough in terms of militaries and have less infrastructure on the sea’s tiny islets. The southeast nations that dispute with China’s claims worry that the transport could someday end up in ferrying supplies to fortify Chinese-controlled artificial islands in the sea’s Spratly archipelago near James Shoal.
Photo Credit : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Malaysia_CIA_map.png