China’s Academy of Space Technology in Beijing has launched a new high-tech satellite, called the Gaofen 3 high-resolution Earth observation satellite, which has been designed to protect its maritime interests, as well as warn of natural disasters, according to China Daily.
The satellite was delivered by a Long March 4C rocket that blasted off from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center in Shanxi province.
Xu Fuxiang, Head of the Gaofen 3 project, said: “…considering China has a total of 32,000 kilometres of coastline, 380,000 square kilometres [38 million ha] of territorial seas and more than 6,500 islands that have an area of at least 500 square metres [0.05ha], satellites like the Gaofen 3 will be very useful in safeguarding the country's maritime rights and interests.”
"The satellite will play an important role in monitoring the marine environment, islands and reefs, and ships and oil rigs," the official China Daily newspaper said, citing project leader Xu Fuxiang.
"Satellites like the Gaofen-3 will be very useful in safeguarding the country's maritime rights and interests," he added, according to the newspaper.
The satellite was launched amid China's efforts to firmly establish its control over the South China Sea, after last month's tribunal verdict quashing Beijing expansive claims over all most all of the disputed area also claimed by the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan.
In July, an international court in The Hague ruled against China's claims in the resource-rich South China Sea in an action brought by the Philippines, a decision stridently rejected by Beijing.
China, which rejected the verdict has already launched air and naval patrols over the area to firmly establish control.