China Launches New Intelligence Ship

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China’s Navy has launched a new electronic reconnaissance ship, the CNS Kaiyangxing or Mizar, with hull code 856.

The Kaiyangxing is capable of conducting all-weather, round-the-clock reconnaissance on multiple and different targets.

This is the latest addition to an expanding fleet and as China’s new assertiveness to territorial claims in the South China Sea fuels tensions.

China now operates six electronic reconnaissance vessels. Last year, Chinese Navy commissioned 18 ships, including missile destroyers, corvettes and guided missile frigates.

China claims almost of the South China Sea, believed to have huge deposits of oil and gas, through which about $5 trillion in ship-borne trade passes every year, and has been building up military facilities like runways on the islands it controls.

Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam also have claims.

Chinese ships now increasingly track and shadow U.S. and Japanese warships in the South China and East China seas, even during routine deployments.

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