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Coast Guard fleet expanded by two new vessels

2011/01/26 20:04

Taipei, Jan. 26 (CNA) Two new locally designed and built vesselswere commissioned into service Wednesday by the Coast GuardAdministration (CGA) as part of Taiwan's efforts to beef up itscoastal patrol and maritime search and rescue capabilities.

"The induction of the two ultra-modern, high performance shipshas substantially enhanced our deep-sea patrol capacity andunderscores our determination to protect our maritime sovereignty andfishing rights and better contribute to law enforcement at sea, "President Ma Ying-jeou said while presiding over the commissioningceremony for the two ships at a CGA wharf in southern Taiwan'sKaohsiung City.

Last September, coast guard personnel from Taiwan and Chinaconducted a joint maritime search and rescue training exercise inwaters between Taiwan-held Kinmen Island and the southeastern Chinesecoastal city of Xiamen, Ma noted.

In the future, he continued, Taiwan looks forward to reinforcingsimilar exchanges and cooperation with the United States, Japan andthe Philippines.

The CGA also cooperates with the Fisheries Administration bydeploying three patrols in the Pacific Ocean each year, during whichCoast Guard officers conduct regular shipboard inspections of fishingboats in the open sea through arrangements by the Western and CentralPacific Fisheries Commission.

"These operations indicate international recognition of ourmaritime policing abilities, " Ma said, adding that the commissioningof the two new vessels further upgrades Taiwan's open sea lawenforcement operations and better protects the rights and safety ofTaiwanese fishermen and fishing boats.

One of the two new vessels, christened Tainan, is a 2,000-tonmultifunctional ship that has a range that encompasses the DongshaIslands and the Spratlys in the South China Sea, with a maximumnavigation distance of 7,500 nautical miles.

The other, named Hsunhu No. 7, is a 1,000-ton deep-sea patrolvessel, with a range of 15,000 nautical miles.

(By Cheng Chi-feng and Sofia Wu)ENDITEM/J