Friday, July 20, 2012

China forms body to administer 3 islands in Spratlys

Despite a diplomatic protest from the Philippines, China on Tuesday began organizing a legislative body for its “prefectural level” city called Sansha through which it intends to administer three islands in the disputed Spratlys in the West Philippine Sea.

Based on China’s official Web portal, a committee set up by the Standing Committee of the Hainan Provincial People’s Congress would begin the work of officially establishing Sansha.

The committee will organize the first municipal congress of Sansha, approve the electoral commission for the election of delegates and convene the first plenary meeting of the municipal congress.

The report said the congress will have 60 delegates directly elected, and its Standing Committee will have 15 members.

The State Council or China’s cabinet in June approved the establishment of Sansha to administer the Xisha, Zhongsha and Nansha islands and the surrounding waters.

The seat of government of Sansha is on Yongxing Island, part of the Xisha islands.

South China Sea, natural resources and competing national interests.The founding of Sansha city will improve China’s management of the region and help coordinate efforts to develop the islands and protect the marine environment, said Zhao Zhongshe, director of the Hainan provincial Department of Ocean and Fisheries.

Wu Shicun, director of the National Institute for South China Sea Studies, also said the fishermen’s safety and the oil-gas, fishery and tourism resources in the South China Sea would be better protected.

Tourist cruises from Haikou to Sansha might be launched by the end of this year, according to the Hainan provincial Tourism Development Board.

Sansha City administers over 200 islets, sandbanks and reefs in Xisha, Zhongsha and Nansha islands, covering 13 square kilometers in island area and two million square kilometers of water.

In 1959, China set up an administrative office to exercise sovereignty over the area.

The new city government compared to the administrative office will be able to better administrate the islands, according to an announcement by the Ministry of Civil Affairs in June.

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) summoned on July 4 Chinese Ambassador Ma Keqing and presented her a note verbale through which the Philippines protested Beijng’s establishment of Sansha. It was the Philippines’ 10th note verbale since the beginning of China’s encroachment on Panatag Shoal.-The Philippine Star (July 2012, 2012)

No comments: