China launches cruise ship voyage in South China Sea

Beijing [China], Mar. 3: A new Chinese cruise ship began its maiden voyage to the Paracel Islands in the controversial South China Sea.

According to Xinhua news agency, the Changle Gongzhu or Changle Princess sailed from Sanya with 308 passengers on board.

The new ship is capable of carrying 499 people with a range of 3,000 nautical miles. It has 82 guest rooms and offers dining, entertainment, shopping, medical treatment and postal services aboard.

The South China Sea carries a third of the world's maritime traffic. Apart from China, Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam also have also staked a claim to these waters.

The Donald Trump administration has described China's island building in the South China Sea as illegal.

A Pentagon spokesman said the United States remained committed to "non-militarization in the South China Sea" and urged all claimants to take actions consistent with international law.

The contested waters are a crucial shipping route at the heart of a territorial dispute that pits multiple countries against one another.

Source: ANI