As drones become everyday tools of geopolitical power, the potential for conflict escalates between state and non-state actors, in geographic ‘flashpoint’s across the planet. The U.S. has set a dangerous precedent in its own program of extrajudicial strikes.
China has said it will use unmanned drones to carry out marine surveillance as it tries to increase its presence around uninhabited East China Sea islands at the centre of a dispute with Japan.
Li Mousheng, a spokesman for the State Oceanic Administration, says the decision follows a successful pilot programme conducted yesterday.
Mr Li cited state media reports saying China aims to have drones and monitoring bases in place by 2015, but did not say when they would be deployed around the islands, called Diaoyu in China and Senkaku in Japan.