China commissions homegrown missile frigate amid naval buildup

by Reuters
Thursday, 25 February 2016 05:26 GMT

BEIJING, Feb 25 (Reuters) - China commissioned a domestically produced missile frigate this week, the official People's Liberation Army Daily reported on Thursday, as Beijing works to expand and modernize its navy.

The announcement came only two days after a senior U.S. military official said China was "clearly militarising" the South China Sea. The United States is worried by China's military buildup to assert dominance in the region.

The People's Liberation Daily said the frigate, with a displacement of more than 4,000 tonnes, has powerful long-range surveillance and anti-aircraft capabilities.

Ships of that kind can be used alone or along with other naval forces to attack enemy surface ships, the report said.

The frigate, called the Xiangtan, is one of 22 vessels of its class in service, according to state media reports.

Beijing has invested billions developing its homegrown weapons industry to support its growing maritime ambitions in the South China Sea and the Indian Ocean.

China claims most of the South China Sea, through which more than $5 trillion in global trade passes every year. Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei, the Philippines and Taiwan have rival claims.

Beijing has also cast an eye towards foreign markets for its comparatively low-cost technology. Its total military budget in 2015 was 886.9 billion yuan ($141.45 billion), up 10 percent from a year earlier. (Reporting By Megha Rajagopalan; Editing by Paul Tait)

Latest News
Comments Close
China commissions homegrown missile frigate amid naval buildup

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of the Thomson Reuters Foundation. For more information see our Acceptable Use Policy.

comments powered by Disqus