The Chinese Navy has commissioned two large sea surveillance ships, in the 1,000t and 1,500t classes, to better protect the country’s maritime rights and interests.

The two patrol ships have added to the North Sea fleet of the China Maritime Surveillance Force in the eastern coastal city of Qingdao, according to the Press Trust of India.

The ships are a part of a $241m deal signed by the government in 1999 to add 13 1,000t patrol ships and five patrol helicopters to patrol China’s waters.

An official of the China Maritime Surveillance Force said the country was expanding its fleet due to the increasing burden of safeguarding its seas rights and interests.

“Given the large sea territory, China’s maritime surveillance force remains weak, even after all 13 patrol ships join the fleet. They’re far from meeting all of our demands,” he added.