The China Coast Guard, which has been sending vessels into waters around the Senkaku Islands more frequently since 2012, plans to build a large base in Wenzhou, Zhejiang Province, to enhance monitoring of the chain, sources close to the matter said Saturday.

By building the base in Wenzhou, which is close to the Japan-administered islets, the coast guard is apparently hoping to bolster support for surveillance vessels so China can strengthen its claim to them.

China calls the uninhabited islets Diaoyu, but they are also claimed by nearby Taiwan, which calls them Tiaoyutai.