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China Plans Tourist Visits to Disputed Islands

China says it will allow tourists to visit disputed islands in the South China Sea, a move likely to further inflame tensions over the vast maritime region.  

Beijing's plans for the Paracel islands are likely to irritate Vietnam, which also claims the islands as part of its territory. Hanoi issued a statement last week denouncing a sailing race around the Parcels staged by authorities in China's Hainan province.

In remarks first broadcast by Chinese state radio, officials say the tourist visits can help China strengthen its claim over the islands, which are called Xisha in Chinese.



Beijing has become increasingly assertive about its claims over the entire 3.5 million-square-kilometer South China Sea, putting it at odds with Vietnam and other regional rivals, including the Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei, which also claim parts of the waterway as their own.  

At this week's summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, the leaders of the 10-member bloc pledged to quickly complete work on a code of conduct to resolve conflicts with China in the potentially resource-rich area.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.

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by: albert
April 19, 2012 8:56 AM
China is a bully with a calm voice. It will speak of peace but will invade its neighbors' territories by means of force. Now that it has money, China is scary.

by: POOR VOA
April 19, 2012 6:20 AM
POOR VOA, could you please tell some truth?

by: Wangchuk
April 13, 2012 6:44 AM
The PRC claims sovereignty over the entire South China Sea. A ridiculous claim unsupported by int'l law. Asian nations should be wary of China who is trying to expand its territory. The PRC is a hegemonic empire.

by: The Han China
April 12, 2012 3:44 PM
The Han China cares about no one, not the USA, not Russian, not Japan, not even international maritime laws. The Han China already got the Tibet, Uyghur, Manchurian. They claim India land, Rusian land, Vietnamese land; they claim South Korea islands; they claims Japanese islands; Vietnamese islands, Philipine island, Malaysian islands, Taiwainese islands; you name it, they claim it. They will eventually claim every thing in the whole world plus the universe. Unless, some one stop them now.

by: Tommy
April 09, 2012 6:12 AM
it's absolutely ridiculous. Paracel islands obviously belong to Vietnam before 1974. While we were facing with civil war between north and south of Vietnam, Chinese stole it. So if it was Chinese before, so why didn't you guys Chinese get it when French and US afterward still were in Vietnam???? Please go to school to learn history carefully.

by: Using Han doesn't make you a Han
April 09, 2012 4:42 AM
The Han language was adopted by Han subjects & neighboring countries.It's not because you use it & that makes you a Han.There are no real Hans.Just like all those countries who use the Roman alphabet or speak English,that doesn't make them Romans or English.No matter what you say,Southern Chinese are related to Vietnamese & you shouldn't forget your roots

by: Xing
April 09, 2012 1:20 AM
Here no one wants to respect history and they think that someone is behind them. Then why we need to agree with them. Just do it and take our properties back.

by: jianhua
April 08, 2012 10:31 PM
06-04-2012
" All vietnam never spoke chinese. Another victim of propaganda" is nonsense! until now, all vietnam's temples are writen in Chinese because
vietnam identify chinese as their ancestral language. so you are a ignorant rogue!

by: Jonathan Huang
April 08, 2012 7:17 PM
lets make it more clear. Vietnam was only jungles until south Chinese people moved and settled there, so better call Vietnamese descendent of Chinese. And you are welcome back to China, our big family. Vietnamese brothers and sisters. But south China sea only belongs to Chinese! When you call yourself Chinese then you can take piece of it.

by: Jonathan Huang
April 08, 2012 7:11 PM
one point here to hoat and who didnt show his or her name. When Manchurians integrated into Chinese, all belongs to manchurians then belongs to China too. So does south China sea. South China became part of China 2000 years ago, if south China sea belonged to south Chinese people at that time then south China sea belongs to China now along with their masters. Yes, it is how China grew so big from a tiny country. Vietnamese, you can enjoy better life when you call yourself Chinese! Brothers!
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