|General chart of the region|
|Beach in the Spratly Islands|
Further to our recent Posts on the subject the Peoples Republic of China (PRC) continues to establish authority over the island groups in the South China Sea. On Thursday the PRC Ministry of Defence spokesperson Geng Yansheng announced that the county level administration on Youngxing Island had been abolished and replaced by the higher prefecture level administration established in the City of Sansha, Hainan Island, PRC. The announcement continued that this would now better control under PRC administration the island groups and their surrounding waters in the South China Sea.
Affected are the Paracel/Xinsha Islands, Macclesfield Bank/Zhongsha Island, and Spratly/Nansha Islands. The fact that there are conflicting claims to these island groups by Vietnam and the Philippines has been totally ignored. Neither of these countries has any ability to prevent this administration established by the PRC.
By this action the PRC can claim, under International Maritime Law, Exclusive Economic, Contiguous, and Territorial Zones with Internal Waters around and within the Xinsha, Zhongsha, and Nansha Island groups.
The entire region is already patrolled by CMS armed vessels with Zones and Waters fully enforcable by the China Marine Surveillance (CMS) a governmant agency of the PRC and no doubt PLA bases will be permanent in each island group.
* For more detailed navigational information refer to British Admiralty Chart 4508 South China Sea and UKHO NP 30, 31, and 32 South China Sea Pilots. *