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A Seafaring Strategy
The Chinese Government establishes Sansha City to solidifiy its sovereignty over the South China Sea islands and surrounding waters, marking a symbolic milestone in China's development of the islands
Sansha by the Sea

Sansha, the smallest city in China, will govern the Xisha, Zhongsha and Nansha islands and their adjacent waters. The Sansha Municipal Government will be seated on Yongxing Island of the Xisha Islands. The city has jurisdiction over an area of more than 2 million square km, most of which is water


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The Xisha, Zhongsha and Nansha Islands

The Xisha Islands comprise 22 islets, seven sandbanks and more than 10 coral reefs. There are more than 3,500 permanent residents living on the Xisha Islands. Yongxing, the largest island in the archipelago, covers an area of 2.13 square km. Yongxing Island lies 182 nautical miles away from Hainan Island.

The Zhongsha Islands consist of sandbanks, reefs and islets, which are all submersed in water except for Huangyan Island. The Zhongsha Islands are about 200 nautical miles to the east of Yongxing Island of the Xisha Islands.

The Nansha Islands are the southernmost and scattered across the largest area, with more than 200 islets, reefs, sandbanks and shoals. Major islands in the archipelago are Taiping Island, Zhongye Island, Nanwei Island and Zhenghe Qunjiao. The Zengmu Reef is the southernmost point of China's territory.

China's Jurisdiction over the South China Sea
- China first discovered and named the reefs, islets and the surrounding waters of the Xisha, Zhongsha and Nansha islands

- In 1911, the Guangdong Provincial Government of the Republic of China proclaimed that the Xisha Islands were put under the jurisdiction of Hainan's Yaxian County

- In October 1984, Hainan Administrative Region was set up, which took over the administrative office

- In June 2012, the State Council approved the establishment of Sansha City
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