|PLAN vessels Qingdao and Taicang|
|INS Airafat L24|
|Beach landing operations|
Somehow this has earmarks of a dangerous prank but if true sets a very dangerous precedent. The PLA is making visits and receiving guests worldwide to establish contacts. At the same time it is expanding its sphere of influence by expanding its Navy. Claiming the South China Sea as Chinese Waters it now has a Navy capable of enforcing this viewpoint. The South China Sea is International Waters except for the Law of the Sea agreed Territorial Waters of each of the countries it touches and the Economic Zones of all those countries. There is considerable countering claiming of certain sea areas with the Peoples Republic of China (PRC) making most of those claims.
China claimed that the South China Sea is its entirely rejecting claims by other nations such as Vietnam, Malaya, Brunei and Taiwan over the resource rich region. Incidents like this are ill advised, unprofessional and counter productive to the PLA currently establishing contacts with other nations. The PRC actions could well and all too easily lead to a confrontation with force being involved.
The 400 of our fellow seafarers are still held captive both ashore and off the coast of Somalia in most degrading conditions. We ask the Maritime Authorities to stop writing reports, making speech's and take effective action to free them.