China speeds up construction in disputed Sansha City-A A +A
Sunday, September 30, 2012
DESPITE the protest lodged by the Philippine government, the People's Republic of China has decided to expedite the completion of four infrastructure projects and a housing program in Sansha City in the West Philippine Sea.
In a report posted at the Chinese Government official web portal, China said authorities of the newly established city have begun their development plans.
“On Saturday began mapping out development plans for four infrastructure projects and started a housing program as the building of the island city revs up,” said the report at GOV.cn.
The infrastructure projects include road construction, water supply, and drainage on Yongxing Island, which is the city’s seat of government.
The plan provides for the seven roads with a total length of five kilometers to be repaired or built to improve the island's traffic situation.
A desalinator capable of processing 1,000 cubic meters of seawater a day is also scheduled to be built on the island to ensure fresh water supplies.
The projects will also include the construction of an inter-island transportation and a dock, as well as the development of Zhaoshu Island.
Sansha Mayor Xiao Jie similarly announced the beginning of a housing construction program with a total investment of 18.7 million yuan (US$2.97 million).
To recall, Sansha was just officially set up last July 24 in Yongxing Island to administer the Nansha (Spratly Islands), Xisha (Paracel Islands), and Zhongsha (Macclesfield Bank) and their surrounding waters in the South China Sea.
The Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) immediately lodged a protest through a note verbale sent to Chinese Ambassador to Manila Ma Keqing.
In its protest, the DFA claimed that the “establishment of Sansha City, as the extent of the jurisdiction of the city, violates Philippine territorial sovereignty over the Kalayaan Island Group and Bajo de Masinloc and infringes on Philippine sovereign rights over the waters and continental shelf of the West Philippine Sea.”
The Philippines has been claiming portions of the Spratly Islands as well as the Scarborough Shoal, which is part of the Macclesfield Bank. (HDT/Sunnex)