Chinese border police to board ships in disputed waters

The full texts of the regulations, which take effect on January 1, will soon be released to the public, Huang Shunxiang, director of the congress's press office said.

Activities such as entering the island province's waters without permission, damaging coastal defence facilities, and engaging in publicity that threatens national security are illegal, the daily report said.

If foreign ships or crew members violate regulations, Hainan police have the right to take over the ships or their communications systems, under the revised regulations.

China has already created Sansha city to be set up in the disputed islands and announced a new military set up in the back drop of its disputes countering the claims of the Philippines and Vietnam.

The aggressive Chinese move both in South China Sea and East China Sea over islands disputed with Japan was reported to be the initiatives of the hardliners in Chinese military and public security bureaus.

The new moves came in the backdrop of once-in-a-decade leadership change in China this month.

Vice President Xi Jinping has taken over as both General Secretary of the ruling Communist Party and head of the military from the outgoing leader Hu Jintao.

Xi would take over as the President when Hu formally retires in March next year.

Officials say that any changes in China's policy could be seen only after that.

Bi Zhiqiang, director of the legislative affairs commission of the Hainan People's Congress, said the revised regulations will strengthen offshore patrols of the waters off Hainan, protecting national maritime interests.

An insider from China Marine Surveillance told China Daily that new ships will join the South China Sea patrol fleet soon.

All these moves show that the country is preparing itself for dealing with complicated marine disputes, Qi Jianguo, former Chinese ambassador to Vietnam said.

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