Radar stations and lisening posts should be built on the islands China controls in the disputed South China Sea, Rear Admiral Yin Zhuo of the PLA Navy and a member of the national committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference told the official China News Service on Mar. 9.
A year after the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, Yin said radar stations and listening posts would assist future search and rescue operations.
Yin said such facilities could be used to monitor the communication between pilots and the control tower for aircraft flying over the South China Sea.
Yin said that South China Sea is a crucial international shipping lane as 40% of passenger flights and merchant ships have to pass through the area. He stressed that mainland China and Hong Kong are responsible for rescue operations in the area north of the 10th parallel north and west of the 124th meridian east, which covers the entire area of the South China Sea, according to a decision made by the International Maritime Organization in 1985.
China’s presence in the South China Sea will be crucial for neighboring countries facing non-traditional security issues as well, Yin said, pointing to pirates and other criminal groups committing illegal activities such as drug trafficking in the region. He said the PLA Navy and other maritime security agencies of China and Hong Kong can be very useful to maintain peace and prosperity.
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