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China builds new city, Sansha on disputed island

Beijing, July 25 (): On Tuesday, China has officially set up Sansha city on Yongxing Island situated at the southernmost province of Hainan. A ceremony to mark the city’s establishment began at 10:40 a.m. in front of the main building of the city government.

At the ceremony, the national flag was hoisted while the national anthem played after the signboards of the Sansha Municipal Government and the Sansha Municipal Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) were unveiled. A new mayor opened Sansha, with a population of 1,000, China’s new municipality.

In a keynote speech, Party chief of Hainan province, Luo Baoyou, said Sansha was established to administer the Zhongsha, Nansha and Xisha islands and their surrounding waters in the South China Sea. He said their important task now will be to build up political power in Sansha to make sure efficient management.

The newest city of China is a remote island in the South China Sea barely large enough to host a single airstrip. It has a bank, post office, hospital and a supermarket. Fresh water comes by freighter on a 13-hour journey from China’s southernmost province. It is situated more than 200 miles from the mainland.

China has formed the city administration to supervise not only the harsh outpost but also to oversee hundreds of thousands of square kilometers of water, to strengthen its control over disputed – and potentially oil-rich – islands.

China’s expanding start in the world’s most disputed waters, shares of which are also demanded by the Philippines, Vietnam and other neighbours. Both the Philippines and Vietnam protested against the China’s move.

On Monday, Benigno Aquino, Philippine President while speaking at the union address said that Manila had shown limitation during the Scarborough Shoal stand-off – another disputed area in the South China Sea. Philippines foreign ministry spokesman said Manila did not recognize the city or its jurisdiction.

Vietnam said China’s actions violated international law.