SEOUL, Oct. 12 (Korea Bizwire) – The number of Chinese warships spotted operating in waters under South Korea’s jurisdiction rose to some 260 last year, up from around 220 in the previous year, a ruling party lawmaker said Wednesday.
Rep. Lim Byung-heon of the People Power Party (PPP) cited data from the Defense Intelligence Agency under the defense ministry, highlighting the need to bolster South Korea’s maritime security amid lingering regional territorial tensions.
The number of Chinese military vessels found in the South’s “jurisdictional sea area” grew last year, though the figure came to some 220 in 2020, down from around 280 in 2019.
In the first eight months of this year, over 170 Chinese warships were seen operating in the waters, with roughly 110 of them in waters south of the Korean Peninsula.
The jurisdictional sea area encompasses the country’s territorial waters, exclusive economic zone and other segments under its jurisdiction. Parts of the waters overlap with areas where China asserts its maritime jurisdiction.
Citing data from the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Rep. Shin Won-sik, another PPP lawmaker, disclosed Chinese aircraft carrier activities in the South’s jurisdictional waters.
In the first half of this year, a Chinese carrier, whose name was not identified, was found to have operated three times in waters just 130-200 kilometers away from South Korea’s territorial waters.
Last year, it was spotted appearing just once in waters around 100 km away from the South’s waters.