China's State Oceanic Administration has placed 8 orders with Wuchang Shipbuilding Industry Co., & altogether 36 are to be built within two years.
As the global shipbuilding industry endures one of its toughest spells in years, at least eight new orders for maritime surveillance ships have been secured by Wuchang Shipbuilding Industry Co Ltd, a subsidiary of China Shipbuilding Industry Corp.
The progress echoed an earlier statement from Liu Cigui, head of the State Oceanic Administration, which said that 36 patrol vessels are being built and will be put into operation within the next two years by China Marine Surveillance, the bureau's maritime law enforcement agency. This agency has more than 400 vessels and more than 10,000 officers to safeguard China's sovereignty and maritime interests.
The demand for surveillance ships in China has picked up significantly in recent months, as the country aims to equip one of its major maritime law enforcement bodies with more vessels.
According to 'China Daily', maritime surveillance ships are not for military use because they are not equipped with heavy weapons, but they differ from other civilian vessels in their role of protecting national territorial rights at sea.
Six Chinese surveillance ships started patrolling the waters around China's Diaoyu Islands recently amid ongoing tension sparked by Japan's "nationalization" of these islands.