Wednesday, 12 May 2021

South China Sea: Beijing set for strategic advantage in region dispute after brazen move

China set to 'deploy largest amphibious assault ship' into sea

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China’s largest amphibious assault ship, the Hainan has been launched in the South China Region. This may prove to give China an advantage in settling disputes with nations like the Philippines. ANC reporter Raine M. Musñgi reflected on the growing tensions between China and the Philippines.

She also highlighted how the US is likely to get involved in support of Taiwan.

Ms Musngi said: “China has commissioned its largest amphibious assault ship which is expected to be deployed to the South China Sea.

“The South China Morning Post reported that the ship can carry an estimated 30 helicopters and 100s of troops.

“The ship called Hainan could play a strategic role in the disputed waters where China has territorial claims.”

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US President Joe Biden has previously insisted the nation is dedicated to maintaining peace in the region.

Ms Musñgi continued: “A US defence consultant urged the Philippines and the US to conduct joint patrols, as well as other south-east Asian nations.”

US Defence Consultant Captain Carl Shuster said: “Combined Philippine and Vietnamese coastguard patrols in the area of Julian Felipe reef will deter any further aggression there.

“I think if you invite the US Coast Guard to go with you that would send a very strong signal as well.”

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Ms Musñgi added that the Philippines continues to hit back at China for its aggression.

She added: “Last Friday Manilla filed two new diplomatic protests against Beijing.

“This was over its illegal and lingering presence of Chinese ships in Philippine waters.

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“It has vowed to continuously file diplomatic actions until the vessels leave the countries exclusive economic zone.”

The Hainan 31 is China’s first Type 075 amphibious assault ship capable of transporting almost the whole of the Chinese Marine Corps with the ability to land them in hostile territory via landing craft or helicopters as well as providing air support.

It has a full-length flight deck for helicopter operations and features a ‘well deck’ where hovercraft and armoured amphibious assault vehicles can disembark from inside of the ship to launch an attack.

Military experts have suggested the deployment will cause concern with Taiwan and other countries in maritime disputes with China in the South China Sea.

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