On September 24, 2012 China said that it will be using unmanned drones to conduct marine surveillance by the year 2015, while it tries to increase its presence around uninhabited East China Sea islands at the centre of a dispute with Japan.
While there is still plenty of time, the planned deployment comes as the relations between the sides continues to be roiled by fury in China over the Japanese government’s purchase of the islands this month from their private Japanese owners. Li Mousheng a spokesperson from China’s state Oceanic Administration said that the decision to ploy drones followed a successful test Sunday.
However the spokesperson did not offer more details on the test but said that China aims to have drones and monitoring bases in place by 2015. The reports have not even mentioned when the drones would be deployed around the islands known as Diaoyu in China and Senkaku in Japan.
China has been aggressively developing unmanned aircraft for civilian as well as military purpose for the missions ranging from guiding missile strikes to monitoring grain crops. After the Japanese government purchased the islands from a Japanese owner, there was an outage in China with protests which many times turned violent in and around China.