Latest News:  
Beijing   Sunny    20 / 5   City Forecast

People's Daily Online>>Opinion

South China Sea mapping underway

By Zou Le (Global Times)

15:36, March 27, 2012

China may step up its exploration of the South China Sea to reinforce its territorial claims, analysts said Monday, after authorities announced that geographical surveys of the area are underway.

"The majority of the disputed waters used to be beyond our reach because we seldom put our claims into action," Zhang Yunling, director of the Institute for International Studies under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times.

"By drawing a map, the country can reinforce its jurisdiction claim in the South China Sea, and further actions may follow, such as exploiting resources near the Nansha Islands," Zhang said.

According to a report released by the National Administration of Surveying, Mapping and Geoinformation (NASMG) on Sunday, a work group jointly set up by 13 government agencies will continue geographical surveying of the South China Sea and draw a map of the sea or its islands to "declare China's stance" on territorial issues.

Similar mapping work will also be carried out on the Diaoyu Islands and other important areas in the East China Sea when the time is right, it added.

The 13 government agencies include the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Public Security and the Ministry of Commerce.

"We are currently carrying out relevant work, and further details will be released at a proper time," an official with NASMG's map management office told the Global Times on condition of anonymity.

China claims indisputable sovereignty of the Nansha and Xisha islands and their adjacent waters, but several countries in the region, such as Vietnam and the Philippines, have made competing claims.

Zheng Zemin, a researcher with the Hainan-based National Institute for South China Sea Studies, said that through the mapping, authorities may clarify the specific locations of the so-called "nine-dashed line" or "U-shape line" by setting their longitudes and latitudes.

"They may also survey the locations of islands and reefs currently on record, which have changed due to tides over the past decades," Zheng said.

Zhuang Guotu, director of Southeast Asian Studies at Xiamen University, downplayed the possibility of the mapping work escalating tensions.

"A spat is inevitable but tensions are unlikely to escalate as maintaining cooperation despite disputes has been a basic consensus that China and relevant countries hold," Zhuang said.

Yang Jingjie contributed to this story

Email|Print|Comments(Editor:张茜)

Leave your comment0 comments

  1. Name

  

Selections for you


  1. Porcelain tower in Jingdezhen

  2. Blood collected from panda

  3. Moon, Venus and Jupiter conjunction

  4. China's escort fleet successfully expels suspected pirates

Most Popular

Opinions

  1. Safer world, safer energy
  2. Keep talking, Hu urges
  3. US' human rights violations
  4. Leung wins Hong Kong election by wide margin
  5. China yet to be a sea power
  6. Prevent nuclear terrorism
  7. Conditions needed for Annan's peace mission
  8. Will Syria crisis be transformed into an opportunity?
  9. Chinese economy will not suffer a hard landing
  10. Monk move in Nansha Islands new ploy by Vietnam

What's happening in China

Website helps ex-convicts find jobs

  1. China's urbanization leaves rural land unattended
  2. 3 students dead, 14 injured in China road accident
  3. China's Forbidden City robber appeals jail term
  4. China regulates funeral ahead of Qingming
  5. Relief funds allocated for quake-hit Xinjiang

PD Online Data

  1. Spring Festival
  2. Chinese ethnic odyssey
  3. Yangge in Shaanxi
  4. Gaoqiao in Northern China
  5. The drum dance in Ansai