China releases first list of uninhabited developable islands

11:07, April 13, 2011      

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China has officially released a list of the first batch of uninhabited developable islands and set a maximum island-use period of 50 years, according to the press conference hosted by the State Oceanic Administration (SOA) and oceanic departments of coastal provinces and autonomous regions on April 12.

The list involves a total of 176 uninhabited islands in provinces and autonomous regions, such as Liaoning, Shandong and Hainan, and Guangdong Province, with 60 islands, is home to the largest number.

Li Haiqing, spokesperson for the SOA, said that the development of the uninhabited developable islands mainly involves sectors of tourism and entertainment, traffic and transportation, industry, warehousing, fisheries, agriculture and forestry, renewable energy, urban and rural construction and public service.

He said that to ensure scientific development and utilization of the uninhabited developable islands and minimize the possible negative impact, the government has formulated a series of rules and regulations requiring individuals and firms to compile specific island development and utilization schemes in accordance with the island protection and utilization plans prepared by the government after submitting applications.

The individuals and firms cannot acquire uninhabited island-use rights unless their island development and utilization schemes pass scientific evaluations and are approved by the State Council or provincial-level governments.

Individuals and enterprises must strictly follow the central government's protection and development plan for uninhabited islands. Regulatory authorities will conduct regular inspections.

According to the press conference, there are no particular requirements for the qualifications of individuals and enterprises that plan to apply to develop uninhabited islands, but there will be strict restrictions on their development of the islands.

Lu Caixia, director of the SOA's island management office, noted that according to China's "Law on Island Protection," some islands are for special uses and are strictly forbidden to be developed. They mainly include islands that serve as base points of territorial sea boundaries, islands for defense purposes and islands in marine nature reserves.

By People's Daily Online

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