A state-run shipping company from mainland China came to Taiwan's rescue to get vital materials to a $100 million port it is building on a disputed island in the South China Sea last month, reports Reuters.
Taiwanese officials couldn’t find a local firm to do the job, so they have used a vessel from Shanghai Zhenhua Heavy Industry. It was escorted by a Taiwanese patrol boat to Itu Aba Island on what he called an unprecedented mission.
Two other Taiwanese vessels monitored the ship while it unloaded its cargo of large caissons, or watertight chambers used in the construction of piers.
China claims virtually all of the South China Sea
and is at loggerheads with other claimants in the contested waters, particularly the Philippines and Vietnam. Yet the willingness of Zhenhua Heavy to accept such a contract from Taiwan
, which China regards as a renegade province, shows how Beijing is largely unfazed by the work on Itu Aba.