Chinese to send tourists to Paracel islands

Just in time for May Day, China will begin shipping tourists to the Paracel islands, which it gained control of in 1974 after a short war with Vietnam.

Quote from the BBC: The Xinhua news agency said tourists would live on board ships, as the largest island has only one hotel and no fresh water.

 

Analysts view the latest move as an another step in China’s battle to demonstrate that the potentially oil-rich area is Chinese.

The islands, in the bustling, combustible South China Sea, are claimed by China, Vietnam and Taiwan. This is happening as just China hosts mainly Asian nations at the Boao forum in Hainan. It’s worth comparing this decision, sure to upset Vietnam, with comments from Chinese president Xi Jinping today.

Asia needs to “enhance mutual understanding, build consensus, and enrich and deepen cooperation so as to strike a balance among the interests of various parties and build mechanisms that bring benefits to all,” Xi said, according to Xinhua.

Although other Asian nations are participating in the forum, one can’t help but think their representatives are props for Xi’s speech, which is intended not for Asia, but for a China, to show the nation as a regional peacemaker and consensus builder.

China warns Vietnam on Paracels and Spratly Islands

Tired of the Senkaku-Diaoyu islands dispute? Luckily, there is fresh news on China-Vietnam maritime tensions in the South China Sea.

China has warned Vietnam not to enforce its newly enacted law aimed at asserting Vietnamese ownership of the Paracel and Spratly Islands in the South China Sea. China claims those same islands, calling them Xisha and Nansha.

From Press Trust of India: Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunyang in a statement here urged Vietnam to refrain from taking any actions that complicate and escalate issues between the two countries, as the Vietnamese maritime law came into effective from yesterday. 

Hua stressed China has indisputable sovereignty over the islands called by China Xisha and Nansha Islands and Paracel islands by Vietnam.

The Chinese established full control of the Paracel Islands from Vietnam in 1974, after the two nations clashed at sea, in the twilight of the Vietnam War.