Sansha new step in managing S.China Sea Published: 2012-7-18 16:29:00

                               Editor's Note

On June 21, the State Council approved the establishment of Sansha city, the government of which is located on Yongxing Island, to manage the unpopulated Xisha, Zhongsha and Nansha Island groups and surrounding waters. The move is intended to maintain China's sovereignty over the area.

Sansha, as the third prefectural-level city in Hainan Province, consists of 13 square kilometers but manages a coastal area of over 2 million square kilometers, in which some islands and maritime spaces have been invaded or illegally explored by the other surrounding countries. Since there are frequent provocative events in the area, Sansha will be tasked with the sensitive and harsh task of protecting Chinese territory.

Global Times reporter Cheng Gang landed on Yongxing Island, the largest island of the South China Sea Islands and also where the city government is located, in early July. He took the following photos. To see more, click here.

A ship approaches Yongxing Island.


China's Ministry of Civil Affairs announced the establishment of Sansha city, which will administer Xisha, Zhongsha and Nansha islands. The decision is more than just a response to Vietnam's maritime law, approved Thursday.

 The Vietnam National Assembly on Thursday passed the "Vietnamese Law of the Sea," which describes China's Xisha Islands and Nansha Islands in the South China Sea as being within Vietnam's sovereignty and jurisdiction.

                               Latest News

Committee to form Sansha local govt

An organizing committee for the legislative body of Sansha has been set up to form a local government. The committee was established by the Standing Committee of the Hainan Provincial People's Congress on Tuesday. 
It will organize the first city congress of Sansha, approving the electoral commission for the election of deputies and convening the first plenary meeting of the congress.

No withdrawal from stormy southern seas

South China's Hainan Province will designate four areas around the Xisha Islands as cultural relic protection areas, and build an offshore supervision platform in cooperation with the Ministry of Public Security to oversee the waters, and help with the protection of these cultural relics, the Xinhua News Agency reported Monday.

Enthusiasm swells for Sansha migration

China's announcement it would establish a city that will oversee Xisha islands in the South China Sea has been met with public enthusiasm following suggestions that a favorable policy could be introduced to encourage migration.

China raises administrative status of South China Sea islands

The Chinese government has raised the administrative status of Xisha, Zhongsha and Nansha islands in the South China Sea from county-level to prefectural-level, according to a Thursday statement.

                            Map of Sansha City

Source: the Beijing News

                Evolution of the Administration

Administrative Evolution
Source: the Beijing News


GT Editorial

Sansha new step in managing S.China Sea

The idea of establishing Sansha city emerged as early as 2007, but was shelved due to protests by Vietnam. Now China has taken a concrete step, signaling its determination to administer the Nansha Islands and related sea areas. The new level of management carries more weight than the law of Vietnam.

Sansha move consolidates China's claim

Establishing the prefectural-level city of Sansha was only the first step in solidifying China's sovereignty in the South China Sea. And China needs to do more follow-up work to promote the process.

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