Sansha city establishes two districts for better management

By Liu Xin Source:Global Times Published: 2020/4/18 23:15:52

The scenery of Yongxing Island in Sansha City, south China's Hainan Province. Photo: Xinhua

Following approval of the State Council, the city of Sansha in South China's Hainan Province has announced the establishment of two new districts to administer waters in the South China Sea. Experts said this is normal new city planning for better scientific management and to safeguard territorial sovereignty, and should not be over-interpreted.  

Xisha District is set to administer the Xisha and Zhongsha islands and surrounding waters with government located in Yongxing Island; Nansha District has jurisdiction over the Nansha Islands and its waters with government located in the Yongshu Isles. 

The city of Sansha was established on July 24, 2012 to manage the Xisha, Zhongsha and Nansha islands, isles and waters. It is the city located at the most southern point of China with the smallest land area and population, but has the largest territory of any Chinese city. Sansha city has more than 280 islands, isles, submerged reefs and waters. Its land and water area is about 2 million square kilometers.

"Eight years after China set Sansha as a city-level administrative unit, it is now time to subdivide it with different districts to further fulfill the responsibility of safeguarding our national sovereignty," Zhang Junshe, a senior research fellow at the People's Liberation Army Naval Military Studies Research Institute, told the Global Times.

The new city planning will also bring convenience to residents on the islands and fishermen's lives, Zhang said, noting that the move should not be over-interpreted. 

Song Zhongping, a Chinese military expert and commentator, told the Global Times that "Sansha has continued infrastructure construction since 2012. As a city that administers the largest territory among Chinese cities, it is also responsible for managing islands, isles and waters - work that is complicated and sensitive. The newly established districts will help detail the current administrative work in the area and build Sansha into a better city."

Sansha will become a key tourist city in China. The city's scientific and detailed management work will help mobilize resources to develop tourism and energy resources, Song said.

China's move is a legitimate one as the territory within the nine-dash line historically belongs to China. Sansha's latest planning is in accordance with international and domestic laws, Song said.  

Chen Xiangmiao, an assistant research fellow at the National Institute for South China Sea Studies, told the Global Times that the establishment of the Xisha and Nansha districts will improve the management of its juridical area, including improving ecological protection and conducting maritime humanitarian rescues. 

Posted in: POLITICS

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