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China issues first use right certificate for uninhabited island


15:31, November 09, 2011

HANGZHOU, Nov. 8 (Xinhua) -- The Chinese government on Tuesday issued the first certificate for the use of an uninhabited island to a private company, a move to promote control and development of unpopulated islands under China's jurisdiction of territorial water.

The uninhabited Danmenshan Island is located off the coast of Ningbo of east Zhejiang province.

Ningbo Longgang Industrial Co., Ltd. acquired the certificate at a price of 3.44 million yuan (529,000 U.S. dollars), which authorized the company to run a tourism business for fifty years, according to the Ningbo Evening Post.

"The certificate for the use of Danmenshan Island is a new beginning for China to protect its islands in accordance with law and also an example for exploration and the use of other uninhabited islands," said Lv Caixia, director of the islands management office with the State Oceanic Administration (SOA).

According to China's newly revised law on islands, individuals and companies can apply for use of uninhabited islands within the country's territorial waters.

With government-issued certificates, individuals and companies can explore uninhabited islands for tourism, transport, storage, fishing, and public services.

On April 12, the SOA published a list of 176 uninhabited islands throughout Liaoning, Shandong, Jiangsu, Zhejiang and other coastal provinces and autonomous regions.

According to Lv, most of uninhabited islands on the list are awaiting final government approval on use certificates.

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