China Plans To Begin Using Drones To Monitor Disputed Islands By 2015

China droneChinese Armed Police test a hand-thrown drone in 2009

Photo: China Military Report

China is planning to begin using “unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs)” or drones by 2015, according to the state news agency Xinhua.The announcement was made by State Oceanic Administration (SOA) on Sunday. The agency had previously announced that they would use drones at some point for marine surveillance.

While the drones would not be deployed anytime soon, the timing of the announcement comes during heightened tensions between China and Japan over the islands known as Diaoyu in China and the Senkakus in Japan.

The Xinhua article specifically mentions the islands (and another area that has caused a dispute with the Philippines) by name:

In addition, the SOA would step up efforts to enhance its surveillance of the islands and islets including the Diaoyu Islands and Huangyan Island.

China has reportedly been developing drones since the 1960s. Its technology is now rumoured to rival American technology.

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