• By The Financial District


The US-backed Radio Free Asia (RFA) claims that China is turning two of tis civilian supply vessels in the South China Sea (SCS) into high-tech surveillance ships capable of tracking vessels from the US, Vietnam and other nations.

In his April 9, 2021 report, Zachary Haver said the upgrade is consistent with China’s strategy of "military-civil fusion" in its drive to transform SCS into a Chinese lake the way the US transformed the Caribbean into an American lake under the Monroe Doctrine.

The contract for this project was awarded Thursday, April 8, 2021, to Zhejiang Dali Science and Technology Co., Ltd. by Sansha City, which is responsible for administering China's maritime and territorial claims in the contested South China Sea.

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Dali, which appears to also work with the Chinese military, is set to provide a pair of its "DLS-16T Long-Distance Optoelectronic Monitoring Systems" for use on the city's two main supply ships — the Sansha 1 and Sansha 2 — for 3,830,000 yuan ($547,000).

The Sansha 1 and Sansha 2 are mainly tasked with supplying Woody Island, which is China's largest base in the Paracels and serves as the headquarters for Sansha City.

Though the Paracels are claimed by Vietnam, China, and Taiwan, only China occupies any features in the archipelago. But both vessels have also ventured down further south to the Spratlys, where China is locked in maritime and territorial disputes with Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Taiwan, and Brunei. The Sansha 1 came into service in January 2015 and the Sansha 2 completed its maiden voyage in August 2019.


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