Sunday, April 21, 2013

Disputed Spratlys, 4,400 other islands covered in new China surveillance system

China has established a national island surveillance and monitoring system and completed airborne remote-sensing surveillance of what it claims to be its 4,406 islands, according to the Ministry of Land and Resources (MLR).

The national system is mainly built on aerial surveillance, with satellites, unmanned planes, and cruisers as auxiliary instruments, the MLR said in its annual land resources report issued Saturday.

Since a national plan on island protection and exploration came into effect in last April, south China's Zhejiang, Fujian, Guangdong provinces, and Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region have passed their own provincial-level scheme, with Liaoning, Hebei, Shandong, Jiangsu, and Hainan completing their draft plan, the ministry said.

Last year, China completed an island name survey, including on-site investigation on part of the atolls in the three island groups known as Sansha in the South China Sea which covers the disputed island groups of Spratlys, Paracels, and Macclesfield. The Philippines and Vietnam also claim sovereignty over these islands. 

The country also released the standard names and geographical coordinates of the Diaoyu Island and its affiliated islands in the East China Sea, as well as other geographical entities in their surrounding waters last year, according to the MLR report. China Diaoyu is also being claimed by Japan.-Interaksyon (April 21, 2013)

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