A ship with a displacement of 10,000 tons is set to be deployed by the China Coast Guard next year, the largest coast guard vessel in the world, according to Shanghai-based New Outlook.
On Dec. 13 a Chinese netizen uploaded a picture of the ship at the Shanghai Jiangnan Shipyard, which shows that the country's first coast guard ship to break the 10,000 ton displacement mark is already in water and the paintwork is almost complete.
The vessel, the Haijing 2901, is bigger than any of the Japan Coast Guard ships, making it the biggest coast guard ship in the world. The ship will be deployed in spring next year at the earliest, according to reports.
Maritime enforcement has become a major isssue for Beijing, given its determination to assert its territorial claims in the South and East China seas. Chinese law enforcement units outmatched the Japan Coast Guard in the April 23 standoff over the disputed Diaoyu (Senkaku or Diaoyutai) islands, the website asid.
Before the China Coast Guard Bureau was set up last year, the chief engineer at the Jiangnan Shipyard, Hu Keyi, said the shipyard had received orders for two maritime patrol ships with a displacement of 10,000 tons.
As early as 2013, a report from Japan's Fuji News Network had already suggested that China was developing law enforcement vessels on this scale.
The report stated that China had purchased 40 powerful new diesel engines from German engine manufacturer Man Diesel & Turbo, reportedly for use by the China Coast Guard Bureau.
Reports suggest that the loaded displacement of the ship could reach 12,000 tons, with a speed of 25 knots.
The vessel has 76mm rapid-fire naval guns, two secondary turrets and two anti-aircraft machine guns. Its cruising endurance, seaworthiness and speed give it an advantage over other countries in the region, according to the news organization.
As the first number in the ship's serial number is 2, the ship will likely be deployed to the East China Sea, with the disputed Diaoyu islands its main area of patrol.
After examining the photograph taken by the Chinese internet user, observers have stated that the Jiangnan Shipyard is also building a Type 071 Yuzhao-class amphibious transport dock, a Type 054A multirole frigate and a Type 815G electronic intelligence ship.
Reports have stated that the ship began the painting process last month and that it will be completed by the end of this year. The ship will displace Japan's Shikishima PLH31 and the Akitsushima PLH32 as the biggest coast guard ships in the world.