China plans to build dock on island belonging to Vietnam
The Chinese government said Thursday it has approved the construction of a dock on Hoang Sa (Paracel Islands) in the East Sea despite territorial disputes with Vietnam.
he Chinese State Oceanic Administration said in a statement on its website that it has “in principle” agreed to a proposal by Hainan Province to build the dock over more than 3.3 square kilometers (1.3 square miles) of sea off Tan Khanh Island to serve Chinese tourism and fishing activities in the East Sea. The Chinese call the island Jinqing.
According to the statement, private investors will be in charge of the dock construction.
On Tuesday, despite Vietnam's continuing objections, Hainan deputy governor Tan Li said he is determined to start tourism development in the Paracel Islands this year.
He said China is preparing to bring tourists to the place which is situated some 350 kilometers southwest of Hainan.
Earlier this month Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Luong Thanh Nghi said China had “seriously violated” Vietnam’s sovereignty, international laws, and the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea it signed with ASEAN in 2002.
Nghi made the statement after Chinese news agency Xinhua said April 7 that cruise ship Coconut Princess, belonging to the Haixie Hainan Maritime Transport Joint Stock Company, began its maiden voyage from Haikou and Sanya cities in Hainan Province to Xisha Islands the previous day.
“China’s above-mentioned activity is illegal and seriously violates Vietnam’s sovereignty and goes contrary to the spirit of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC),” he said.
“China must immediately stop its activity, strictly abide by the DOC, and take no further action to complicate the situation in the East Sea,” he warned.
Thanh Nien News - April 27, 2012