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China to open Xisha Islands to tourism this year

(Xinhua)

09:05, April 25, 2012

HAIKOU, April 24 (Xinhua) -- China plans to let tourists visit the Xisha Islands in the South China Sea this year, the vice governor of Hainan province, which administers the group of islands, said Tuesday.

"Xisha must be opened for tourism within this year," Tan Li said at a provincial conference addressing tourism on Tuesday.

Tan said that relevant departments are making preparations in accordance with this timetable.

China's State Council in late 2009 announced a guideline to develop the tropical island province of Hainan into a destination for international tourists, and the guideline also outlined that tourism would be promoted on the Xisha Islands.

The Xisha Islands are a cluster of close to 40 islets, sandbanks and reefs.

Earlier this month, a cruise ship owned by the Hainan Strait Shipping Co. launched a trial voyage to the islands.

Vietnam claims sovereignty over the Xisha Islands. However, China has reiterated that its sovereignty over the Xisha Islands is indisputable.

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Chinhomiah at 2012-04-25180.129.87.*
This is a wonderful idea. With the exception of Hainan Dao, most visitors to China know the country as one of huge and impressive rivers, towering mountains, deep gorges, ancient cities and monuments. Few people know that there are parts of China that boasts of year-round sunshine, tropical trees and, of course, beautiful beaches that rival those found in other Southeast Asian countries. The promotion and development of the Xisha islands will also offer China"s own people more opportunities for recreation within their own country. It is the aim of China to balance its export-oriented growth with domestic consumption. Internal tourism is an effective form of stimulating domestic consumption.
Chinhomiah at 2012-04-25180.129.87.*
This is a wonderful idea. With the exception of Hainan Dao, most visitors to China know the country as one of huge and impressive rivers, towering mountains, deep gorges, ancient cities and monuments. Few people know that there are parts of China that boasts of year-round sunshine, tropical trees and, of course, beautiful beaches that rival those found in other Southeast Asian countries. The promotion and development of the Xisha islands will also offer China"s own people more opportunities for recreation within their own country. It is the aim of China to balance its export-oriented growth with domestic consumption. Internal tourism is an effective form of stimulating domestic consumption.
  

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