China is sending one of its largest patrol ships into the South China Sea. The Haixun-31 embarked for the controversial waters Wednesday to monitor shipping and “protect maritime security” on its way to Singapore, according to the BBC.The Chinese move comes on the heels of Vietnam’s live-fire exercise and their national announcement of who will be drafted in case of war.
Chinese officials describe the deployment of the ship as routine and earlier this week said they would not resort to force to settle the dispute.
The Philippines and Vietnam recently accused China of violating territorial waters that many believe hold extensive oil and gas deposits.
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