China wants to start testing drone ships in the South China Sea
Just a week earlier, China completed its first test of unmanned surface vessels in nearby Dongguan, in the Pearl River Delta. The 22-foot vessel, developed by the Shenzhen Huazhong University of Science and Technology, performed patrols and moved in formation with other unmanned vessels.
Eventually, unmanned vessels could allow China to remotely patrol and enforce its territorial claims in the South China Sea. The South China Sea is a highly contentious area high in natural resources that is also one of the world's main shipping corridors. China, Brunei, Taiwan, Malaysia, Vietnam, and the Philippines have competing claims to areas of the sea and its islands.