Hainan is an island province off the south of the mainland. It includes a municipality in the disputed Paracel Islands from which it administers China's territorial claims in the South China Sea.
Chinese official documents suggest that China regards Hainan's jurisdiction as covering around two million square kilometers of the maritime area. However, boundaries are not demarcated, and its neighbors do not recognize that jurisdiction.
According to news reports, the Hai Xun 03 will conduct maritime patrol and law enforcement, search-and-rescue, emergency coordination and command, and prevention and control of ship pollution "in the South China Sea and surrounding waters."
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