China’s island funding fuels conflict

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The congress building in newly constructed Sansha City on the Paracel islands, South China Sea.

China on December 25 announced it will invest more than $1.6 billion to build infrastructure on disputed islands in the South China Sea and to strengthen marine law enforcement in the region.

The plan includes building an airport, piers and other infrastructure on islands at the center of a territorial dispute with Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan, Guangdong-based 21st Century Business Herald reported.

Center of the activities will be “Sansha City”, a new town located on Yongxing Island in the Paracel archipelago that has been established only in July 2012. Sansha functions as a prefecture of China’s Hainan province which administers several island groups and undersea atolls in the South China Sea, comprising the Spratly and Paracel Islands as well as the Macclesfield Bank.

The funds for Sansha will also be spent on ocean fisheries, the paper reported.

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The Philippines on December 26 denounced China’s investment decision to strengthen islands at the center of territorial disputes as a violation of international law.

“We are asking China to reconsider its position and be able to come with us to resolve this dispute peacefully in accordance with international law,” said Philippines Department of Foreign Affairs spokesman Raul Hernandez.

Some fear that China’s action could trigger new conflicts in the area. In their latest spat, Beijing and Manila engaged in a standoff in April 2012 when Chinese vessels sailed into a shoal called Scarborough Shoal, which Philippine officials say is an integral part of its territory.

Vietnam likewise protested what it calls increasing Chinese aggression in the resource-rich waters after Beijing tendered bids for several gas and oil exploration areas within Hanoi’s waters.

China so far refused to bring the territorial disputes to any international forum such as ASEAN, where the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, and Brunei are members.

 

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Reading Time: 1 minute

The congress building in newly constructed Sansha City on the Paracel islands, South China Sea.

China on December 25 announced it will invest more than $1.6 billion to build infrastructure on disputed islands in the South China Sea and to strengthen marine law enforcement in the region.

Reading Time: 1 minute

The congress building in newly constructed Sansha City on the Paracel islands, South China Sea.

China on December 25 announced it will invest more than $1.6 billion to build infrastructure on disputed islands in the South China Sea and to strengthen marine law enforcement in the region.

The plan includes building an airport, piers and other infrastructure on islands at the center of a territorial dispute with Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan, Guangdong-based 21st Century Business Herald reported.

Center of the activities will be “Sansha City”, a new town located on Yongxing Island in the Paracel archipelago that has been established only in July 2012. Sansha functions as a prefecture of China’s Hainan province which administers several island groups and undersea atolls in the South China Sea, comprising the Spratly and Paracel Islands as well as the Macclesfield Bank.

The funds for Sansha will also be spent on ocean fisheries, the paper reported.

Click to enlarge

The Philippines on December 26 denounced China’s investment decision to strengthen islands at the center of territorial disputes as a violation of international law.

“We are asking China to reconsider its position and be able to come with us to resolve this dispute peacefully in accordance with international law,” said Philippines Department of Foreign Affairs spokesman Raul Hernandez.

Some fear that China’s action could trigger new conflicts in the area. In their latest spat, Beijing and Manila engaged in a standoff in April 2012 when Chinese vessels sailed into a shoal called Scarborough Shoal, which Philippine officials say is an integral part of its territory.

Vietnam likewise protested what it calls increasing Chinese aggression in the resource-rich waters after Beijing tendered bids for several gas and oil exploration areas within Hanoi’s waters.

China so far refused to bring the territorial disputes to any international forum such as ASEAN, where the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, and Brunei are members.

 

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