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China commissions new naval frigate

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BEIJING (PTI): China on Wednesday commissioned a new generation light missile frigate to beef up its East China Sea fleet in the backdrop of growing tensions with Japan over the disputed islands.

The new escort vessel belongs to the Chinese-made light missile frigates and was named after Ji'an, a revolutionary base in south China's Jiangxi Province, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

The ship, with hull number 586, will undertake patrol and escort missions and has anti-submarine capabilities.

Faced with increasing number of maritime disputes in South and East China Sea besides growing American push into the Asia-Pacific, China is strengthening its navy including commissioning its first aircraft carrier.

China and Japan are locked in a long-drawn dispute over the sovereignty of islands - that Japan calls the Senkakus and China the Diaoyu Islands - in the East China Sea.

China's unilateral move to set up an Air Defence Identification Zone (ADIZ) over the disputed islands added to the tension.

On November 23, 2013, China declared the ADIZ over the East China Sea, including an island chain disputed with Japan, and warned all aircraft entering the zone to provide a flight plan or face unspecified "defencive emergency measures".

Japan had refused to recognise the zone, as had some other countries including the US.

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