AFP – China has transferred two destroyers and nine other ex-navy vessels to its maritime surveillance fleet, reports said Monday, as it moves to beef up its position in bitter territorial rows with Japan and other neighbours.
Beijing renovated the ships and transferred them to surveillance operations to “alleviate the insufficiency of vessels used to protect maritime interests”, said a report on Tencent, one of China’s major news portals.
China is embroiled in a maritime dispute with Japan that has seen tensions between the two Asian giants, the world’s second- and third-largest economies, at times reach fever pitch.
It is also engaged in a simmering row with its southern neighbours over its claim to vast swathes of the South China Sea.
Ground beef processor AFA Foods filed for bankruptcy protection on Monday and said it plans to sell some or all of its assets, citing the impact of media coverage related to a meat filler critics have dubbed “pink slime.”
Meat processors have faced a backlash over the use of an ammonia-treated beef filler they call “finely textured beef.” Food activists have campaigned to have it banned arguing the product was unappetizing, but supporters say the product is safe to eat.
AFA is one of the largest ground beef processors in the United States and produces more than 500 million pounds of ground beef products annually, the company said in documents filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Delaware.
Safeway, SUPERVALU and Food Lion announced today that they will no longer carry what the meat industry calls “lean finely textured beef,” something the public has come to know as “pink slime.”
All three companies site customer concerns as one of the primary reasons for the change.
“While the USDA and food industry experts agree that lean, finely textured beef is safe and wholesome, recent news stories have caused considerable consumer concern about this product. Safeway will no longer purchase ground beef containing lean, finely textured beef,” the company said in a statement.