China builds school on disputed island
BEIJING — China has begun building a school on a remote island in the South China Sea to serve the children of military personnel and others, expanding the rugged outpost it established two years ago to strengthen its claims to disputed waters and islands.
China built the settlement of Sansha — which Beijing designates a “city” and has a permanent population of 1,443 — on tiny Yongxing island to administer hundreds of thousands of square miles of water where it wants to strengthen its control over potentially oil-rich islands that are claimed by other Asian nations.
Vietnam, the Philippines and the United States criticized Beijing for establishing Sansha, saying it risked escalating regional tensions. The island, known as Woody Island, is about 220 miles south of China's southernmost province and is part of the Paracel chain, which is claimed by Vietnam.
Tensions in the area have escalated since China last month placed an oil rig in waters about 20 miles from the Paracel Islands, leading to ongoing sea confrontations between Chinese and Vietnamese vessels.
Construction on the school started on Saturday and is expected to take 18 months, the Sansha government said in a statement on its website. It said there were about 40 children of school age on Yongxing Island and that the school could educate the children of police, army personnel and civilians stationed on the islands, some of whom had to stay with grandparents in far-off hometowns.
When China established Sansha in July 2012, the outpost had a post office, bank, supermarket, hospital and a population of about 1,000. By December, it had a permanent population of 1,443, which can sometimes swell by 2,000, according to the Sansha government.
It has an airport, hotel, library, five main roads, cellphone coverage and a 24-hour satellite TV station, according to the government. It has a supply ship that brings in food, water, construction materials and people.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Exiled Yemen leader orders anti-rebel fighters to merge with army to battle Houthis
- 2013 death of Taliban leader Mullah Omar confirmed
- Debris on French island possibly that of missing Malaysia Airlines flight
- U.N. projects world’s population to reach 9.7 billion by 2050, 11.2 billion by end of century
- Afghan intelligence: Taliban leader Mullah Omar dead 2 years
- Obama celebrates gains, notes stalemates on visit to East Africa
- British university’s Quran manuscript dates to time of Muhammad
- Scientists warn about killer robots
- Guerrillas execute 2 Turkish police officers
- Greek leaders OK new reforms
- Mexican human rights commission question government investigation into missing students