The newly-created shipping major China COSCO Shipping Corporation (COSCOCS) has revealed its intention to launch cruise lines in the South China Sea starting from July, local media reported.
Namely, the company’s first route would depart from China’s Sanya to the Yongle Island, part of the disputed Xisha Islands, which are also claimed by Vietnam and Taiwan.
The inaugural route would reportedly be followed by the launch of other routes in the South China Sea and Taiwan Straits.
In late April, COSCOCS entered into an agreement with China National Travel Service (HK) Group Corp and China Communications Construction Co Ltd to launch a cruise company which would provide services in the South China Sea, specifically related to major islands of the Xisha.
Under the agreement, the companies said they would appoint Dalian-based COSCO Shipping Ferry Co Ltd as the manager of the cruises.
China claims 90 percent of the South China Sea, while Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Taiwan claim parts of the sea, through which passes about USD 5 trillion of trade a year, according to Reuters.
World Maritime News Staff