China commissions new guided-missile frigate
The Chinese Navy has received a new-generation indigenously-built guided missile frigate, the People’s Liberation Army official news site said yesterday, February 24.
The new 140-meter long and 16-meter wide vessel was named Xiangtan, after a city in the Chinese Hunan Province.
The report further said said that the new ship has strong remote surveillance and anti-aircraft combat abilities and can operate alone or with other naval vessels.
News of the latest addition to China’s naval fleet come in the wake of growing fears of the militarization of the disputed South China Sea islands by China. The United States and its Asia-Pacific region partner Australia have, in the previous months, expressed concerns about Chinese activities in the South China Sea.
The intensification of the dispute came when the U.S. Navy’s Arleigh-Burke class guided missile destroyer USS Lassen sailed within 12 nautical miles of China’s man made island in the Spratly Islands archipelago.
On January 30, 2016, a U.S. Navy destroyer made another incursion into waters China claims to be under their territorial jurisdiction.