Formally stamping its control over a disputed South China Sea Island, China on Friday announced the setting up of two districts- Xisha and Nansha in Sansha City, Yongxing Island.
Made on the Chinese Military’s media outlet, Chainmil.com.cn, the announcement said “Sansha has only some 1,800 permanent residents, making it a prefecture-level city with the most southern location, the largest area, the smallest land area and the smallest population in China.”
The formal tightening of grip on the island, major parts of which were artificially created to house a military garrison with an airstrip capable of landing large military transport aircraft, is sure to ratchet up tensions with the United States and certain Asian nations who dispute China’s claim over the island.
Sansha city itself was established on July 24, 2012.
Xisha District will administer the Xisha and Zhongsha islands and their surrounding waters, with the district government located on Yongxing Island. Governing Nansha Island and its surrounding waters, Nansha District's government is located on Yongshu Jiao, the report said.
Meanwhile, Vietman has strongly protested the setting up of districts in the disputed island. “The establishment of the so-called Sansha City and related activities seriously violated Vietnam’s sovereignty,” Vietnam’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Le Thi Thu Hang said in a statement.
“Vietnam demands that China respect Vietnam’s sovereignty and abolish its wrongful decisions,” Hang said on Sunday.