OFFICIAL SAYS:

China to open Paracel Islands to tourism—official

A+
A
A-

BOAO—China is to open disputed South China Sea islands up to tourism this month, state media reported Sunday, a move likely to inflame a long-running territorial row with its neighbors.

The plans to allow tourists to visit the Paracel Islands before the May Day holiday is the latest stage in Beijing’s development of the territory, which has previously angered Vietnam and caused concern in Washington.

Vietnam and China have a longstanding territorial row over the Paracel Islands. Hanoi last month accused a Chinese vessel of firing on one of its fishing boats which had sailed in disputed waters in the area.

The plan to allow cruise tours follows rapid development of infrastructure in a new city — Sansha — along with the establishment of an army garrison on one of the Paracels last year.

Tourists can only visit the islands on cruise ships as the hotels and other facilities are inadequate, news agency Xinhua said, citing Tan Li, executive vice governor of the southern province of Hainan.

Tan was speaking on Saturday at the Boao Forum for Asia, which is being held in Hainan.

The report quoted shipbuilder Haihang Group Corp Ltd. as saying its cruise ship was ready to take almost 2,000 passengers on a tour of the islands. A second cruise ship was being built by Hainan Harbor and Shipping Holdings Co, the report added.

“The tour prices will be relatively high due to the high costs of tourism infrastructure construction,” Hainan-based tour agency general manager Huang Huaru told Xinhua.

Tan said local authorities would build more supply ships and ports, and beef up the infrastructure in Sansha.

The city was established last summer to administer more than 200 islets, sandbanks and reefs in the South China Sea, which also include the Spratly Islands and Macclesfield Bank.

All the territory within the two million square kilometers (800,000 square miles) of waters under Sansha’s “control” is disputed. The South China Sea is also home to vital shipping lanes and substantial proven and estimated oil and gas deposits.

Located on Yongxing Island, Sansha is home to about 1,000 people, mainly involved in the fishing industry.

Residents of China’s newest city rely on ships for fresh water and other materials. The Paracels’ only hotel, which has 56 rooms, is also on the island.

Inhabitants have access to a bank and a supermarket, photos on the Internet show. There is a library painted in a salmon-colored hue and a basketball court shaded by palm trees.

Other pictures depict people relaxing in hammocks outside their modest dwellings.

China has occupied the Paracels, known as Xisha in Chinese, since a brief war with South Vietnam in 1974. It is a cluster of about 40 islets, sandbanks and reefs.

Taiwan, the Philippines, Brunei and Malaysia all have rival claims to parts of the South China Sea, while the United States is also watching Beijing’s increased assertiveness.

In his address opening China’s parliament last month, former Premier Wen Jiabao said Beijing should “develop the marine economy… and safeguard China’s maritime rights and interests.”

Originally posted at 02:45 pm | Sunday, April 07, 2013

Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of INQUIRER.net. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

  • jorgii0550

    China is no match for the Vietnamese, they are a coward race. When push comes to shove they will run.

    Look at its history. Chinese has failed to conquer even a small neighbor nation like Korea. they have been repeatedly been conquered by smaller nations. The only warrior that they are able to produce is a girl named Mulan since all their men are gays.

    Arabs already disposed their regimes and Filipinos already have 2 people’s power but Chinese are still oppressed by their own government and the Chinese are too afraid to do anything about it.

    • $18209031

      Vietnam is no match to China. Vietgooks are backstabbers . China will wipe them back to the stone age if they wanted to .

      • jorgii0550

        blah blah blah

        Throught history China has failed to conquer even smaller nation like Korea,Vietnam and others while smaller nations like the Mongols, Manchus, Japan rape and conquer your country.

        The only military victory your country achieve is against the unarmed Dalai Lama of Tibet..

      • $18209031

        China has known wars and rumors of wars for centuries. The hardships , manipulations and humiliations of its people runned from east to west and north to south. China is not war hungry or blood thirsty the likes of your whtie azzed masters. But shove comes to shove it will return the favor. China will whip your dirty azz like that of a spoiled brat.

      • jorgii0550

        again blah blah blah…..its already proven that the Chinese are the most coward race on earth.

        The Filipinos was able to beat the tanks and guns of Marcos. Do you know why?….. because the soldiers know that the Pinoy’s are ready to die for their country so they had no choice but to join the revolution.

        The Chinese soldiers massacred their own citizens in Tianamen…..do you know why? Because they know the Chinese are cowards when push comes to shove they will run, and they are right.

        Until now only a few men holds power in your country and you Chinese are too scared to do anything about it.

  • jorgii0550

    Some poster here like DakuAkongUtin are obviously Chinese who are living in the Philippines and like many Chinese they are getting rich because of their dishonest business practices at the expense of the Pinoy’s.

    They are living a good life in the Philippines and yet they still want to bite the hands that feed them. Don’t forget , Tibet was conquered because the local Chinese traders in Tibet bribed the officials and some men to create chaos and instability in that country, which gives China the excuse to Invade Tibet.

    Perhaps its about time we follow the Vietnamese example. they kick out the Chinese in their country, the result is they are now becoming rich and their economy and businesses are controlled by the Vietnamese themselves.

    You can’t just trust a Chinese.

    • $18209031

      Jorgilia, the Chinese were already here in Pinas for centuries even before the arrival of your Malayo forefathers. They were part of the landscape of these islands for millenia just like the rest of the many indigenous tribes . I dont think you re gonna succeed in your pananakut the likes of your estelong brown Malayo Bhumiputras of SE Asia who thinks they owned all islands and see themselves as the dominant race .

      These islands were inhabited by many diverse groups just as theres 7100 islands. The Kachilas and Kanos were only recent visitors and they were even surprised by the sheer number of Chinese people and their many mixed Chinese offsprings. In a bid to curtail the Chinese influence, the Kachilas implemented racist laws . One was to adopt and changed their ethnic Chinese family names to hispanized to avoid being discriminated. And the many more laws that undermined the CHinese. But inspite of that the Chinese genepool in these island s cannot be separated. The more they thrive today.

      • jorgii0550

        Sure sure, keep those fake history coming!

        Chinese only comes to ASEAN countries once in a blue moon as traders, pirates and slaves.

        You were only transported in Brunei, Sabah and Malaysia in large numbers when the Brits wants tame and reliable slave workers to their plantation and mines, they don’t consider the native Malay’s who are resentful to the European presence a reliable worker.

        Chinese come to the Philippines in large number as agents, workers and traders for the British companies in the waning years of Spanish period in the 19th century.The Chinese were able to settle in the Philippines in even larger number illegally with the help of other Chinese Filipinos during the American Colonial period and more come illegally after the takeover of the communist in China.

        We allow Chinese like you to live here in my country and you escape the oppression and intimidation that is being done to the Chinese in China by their own government……..and this is how you repay us?

      • $18209031

        Chinese influx to these islands went on in continuous fashion long before it was dubbed as Filipinas by the Kachila Thieves. The history of Pinas was revised to the behest of Kachilas archivalists and chronologists based on their own whims and caprices. The same went to the time of Kanos who were core racists (like their British kumpadres) towards Chinese people. Then finally to the Tagalegleg runned Manila Govt since 1946 who were all educated in the revised histories of the white colonizers.

        For it is the desire of the Malayo Tagaleglegs to promote their brown race as the dominant race. The facts remain, Chinese have been around living in these island s for centuries. They were peaceful people and prefer to stay peaceful. They thrived well amongst the locals as they prefer to live in peace and harmony. The brown tagaleglegs promoted their agenda of demonizing the Chinese to the pleasures of their racist Kachila and Kano masters. The last ones were the Japo Killers if im not mistaken.
        Many brown Makapilis were directing Japo killers to locate ethnic Chinese in Manila and many parts of Pinas during WW 2 . Many were massacred and their treasures given to brown backstabbers.

  • okabato

    China has this bad habit of giving small islands belonging to other nations a chinese name and then claiming it as their own.

    • jorgii0550

      Don’t forget they also make up fake history so they can justify their claim.

      According to DakuAkongUtin Chinese was here in Philippines before the Filipino….next thing you know China will be giving Philippines a Chinese name like Chinelas and will claim our country as theirs.

      INquirer should reveal the IP adress of this Chinese traitors who are living here in Philippines so we can send them back to China.

      • $18209031

        Send your brown azz back to Indo Malayo jungle for that is good for Pinas and doing justice to history. Chinese has been in these islands for millenia. Inspite of your racist and flawed history written by kachila , kano at tagalegleg revisionists , the Chinese in Pinas have withstood the test of time.

      • jorgii0550

        That’s what the Chinese in Vietnam said before…..look where they are now.

        Continue making more fake history and we will send your kind back to China.

      • Kaizensigma

        so you are now advocating for establishment of gestapo authoritarian state and ethnic cleansing? careful, PHL citizens are all over the world. They may not like what maybe coming to them in retaliation!!!!!

  • socali

    We are in solidarity with our Vietnamese brothers in arms. China will pay for its evil ways.

  • Kaizensigma

    For those calling for the boycott of China, Governor Jerry Brown of the State of California, the 8th largest economy in the world, is embarking on a week long trip to China (the 2nd largest world economy) to forge new trade pacts worth billions of $$$$$$! So Go ahead with your foolish and ineffective boycotts. If you don’t like the $$$$$ and trade, other countries including California is ready to take it. Here are some highlights of his trip:

    1. The governor “really needs to lay out the welcome mat and tell them California welcomes Chinese involvement and Chinese investment.
    2. His primary focus, however, will be dollars and cents. According to figures from China’s Ministry of Commerce, that country’s investment abroad reached $77.6 billion last year — a sixfold increase since 2005. By the end of the decade, some predict, the figure will triple. California has lagged in attracting that money. A study by the Asia Society estimates that $1.3 billion in Chinese money was invested in the state in 2011. Brown is eager for much more.

    3. He wants the Chinese to help fund California’s $68-billion bullet-train project, for example. He broached the subject with President Xi Jinping, who was vice president when the two met in Los Angeles last year.

    4. But competition for China’s money is intense, with governments and corporate leaders jockeying for favor. Several years of recession have limited the availability of funding they have typically relied upon from banks and venture capital firms elsewhere.
    Schell said he had told the governor “he’s got to get his hand in that honey pot.”

  • $26149191

    Paracel Island is Vietnam territory. China should return that island to Vietnam.

    • StrategicSafe

      Said Who? LOL

  • Kaizensigma

    For those calling for the boycott of China, Governor Jerry Brown of the State of California, the 8th largest economy in the world, is embarking on a week long trip to China (the 2nd largest world economy) to forge new trade pacts worth billions of $$$$$$! So Go ahead with your foolish and ineffective boycotts. If you don’t like the $$$$$ and trade, other countries including California is ready to take it. Here are some highlights of his trip:

    1. The governor “really needs to lay out the welcome mat and tell them California welcomes Chinese involvement and Chinese investment.
    2. His primary focus, however, will be dollars and cents. According to figures from China’s Ministry of Commerce, that country’s investment abroad reached $77.6 billion last year — a sixfold increase since 2005. By the end of the decade, some predict, the figure will triple. California has lagged in attracting that money. A study by the Asia Society estimates that $1.3 billion in Chinese money was invested in the state in 2011. Brown is eager for much more.

    3. He wants the Chinese to help fund California’s $68-billion bullet-train project, for example. He broached the subject with President Xi Jinping, who was vice president when the two met in Los Angeles last year.

    4. But competition for China’s money is intense, with governments and corporate leaders jockeying for favor. Several years of recession have limited the availability of funding they have typically relied upon from banks and venture capital firms elsewhere.
    Schell said he had told the governor “he’s got to get his hand in that honey pot.”

  • valsore

    Now that is a big provocation by China. What is our commensurate and rightful response?

  • wakats

    Just like Malaysia and PH, Vietnam has no military muscles to challenge the greedy chinese bullies from claiming the entire Paracel Islands as its own.

    The only option left to the weak countries is to wait for the time when the US and china finally slug it out in open hostilities for supremacy and unchallenged control of the South China Sea. That’s where and when they can unleash their deep-rooted fury and anger against the soul-less goliath of the East….

  • Jojo Griffin

    Mas mabuti nga pag mag tour pa ang mga Chinese sa Pag-asa island.para Makita nila ang bandila ng pilipinas.isipin nila kung ito ay Chinese territory bakit may ibang bandila doon.

To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.

Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:

c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City,Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94

editors' picks

advertisement

popular

advertisement

videos