Jun 282013

China’s Hainan province has established a maritime fishery resource breeding and research base in a disputed area of the South China Sea (West Philippine Sea).

A report on China’s Xinhua news agency said the facility was established in sea waters of the Zhongsha Islands, which China claims includes Scarborough Shoal.

Li Xiangmin, director of the Hainan provincial aquaculture research institute, said the base is located in the Manbu Ansha area, a submerged shoal in the Zhongsha Islands.

It covers a sea area of 625 hectares, he said.

China earlier said the Zhongsha Islands include Scarborough Shoal, which China refers to as Huangyan Island but which the Philippines calls Bajo de Masinloc.

Xinhua said the new base is the “first approved scientific program since Sansha City was officially established in July 2012.”

Li said aquaculture researchers will put into the sea for research some 20,000 grouper fry, 20,000 spats of pearl oysters, 20,000 spats of pteria penguin, a genus of winged oyster, and 20,000 pieces of red seaweeds eucheuma.

Researchers will also conduct field investigation and scientific research activities on the weather, hydrological and topographic conditions, maritime species, submarine grassland and coral reefs in Manbu Ansha in the next three days.


The Xinhua report said Sansha, which has 1,000 residents, was set up to administer some 2.6 million square kilometers of islands, coastal areas and territorial seas.

But the Philippines claimed Filipinos had settled in the islands where Sansha stands as early as 1978.

“Yung ating local government matagal na, 34 years na. Ako ay Filipino citizen, ang Kalayaan ay part ng Pilipinas, so sa Pilipinas tayo nagre-report,” Kalayaan (Palawan) mayor Eugenio Bito-onon Jr. had said in an interview on dzBB radio in July 2012.   ELR, GMA News

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