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Sansha set to increase weather posts

By Yu Qian (Global Times)

08:17, August 29, 2012

More meteorologist monitoring stations will be built on Sansha, a newly established island city in Hainan Province, in a move seen as further consolidating China's sovereignty over the vast waters in the South China Sea.

Weather forecast capacity will be raised as a provincial regulation on meteorological disaster prevention is set to take effect on September 1, the Hainan meteorological bureau announced Tuesday.

This is the first local regulation that touches on Sansha, which specifically demands that authorities foster construction of meteorological sites on the islands and maritime territories administered by China's southernmost city.

The newly implemented measures aim to enhance capabilities to reduce the damage done by extreme weather, as well as provide services for fishing, shipping and space launch programs, Wang Yuxiang, deputy director of the provincial meteorological bureau, told a press conference on Tuesday.

However, analysts pointed out that the new rules aim to go beyond that.

Li Jie, a researcher at the Chinese Naval Research Institute, told the Global Times that it is highly necessary to implement the regulations on meteorology due to Sansha's special geological features.

"Unlike the ordinary inland area of China, Sansha's geographical position has a far-reaching influence on our national defense," he said.

Sansha city was established on June 21, covering a maritime area of 2 million square kilometers in the South China Sea.

"The measures reasonably signal our legislative power to exercise sovereignty over the South China Sea," said Li Guoqiang, deputy director with the Research Center for Chinese Borderland History and Geography at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

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