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China unveils massive island-building vessel

Staff Writer |
China has unveiled a massive ship described as a "magic island maker" that is Asia's largest dredging vessel, Chinese media reported.

The ship, capable of building artificial islands of the sort the country has constructed in the contested South China Sea, was launched Friday at a port in eastern Jiangsu province, according to the state-owned China Daily.

The boat named Tian Kun Hao is capable of digging 6,000 cubic meters an hour, the equivalent of three standard swimming pools, the newspaper said.

It is a larger version of the one China used to dredge sand, mud and coral for transforming reefs and islets in the South China Sea into artificial islands capable of hosting military installations.

When testing of the ship is completed next June, it will be the most powerful such vessel in Asia, the paper noted, nicknaming it the "magic island maker."

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