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.

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments page of 3
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.

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
" 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!
Comments page of 3

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
After Paris Attacks, France Steps Up Fight Against ISi
November 24, 2015 3:04 AM
The November 13 Paris attacks have drawn increased attention to Syria, where many of the suspected perpetrators are said to have received training. French President Francois Hollande is working to build a broad international coalition to defeat Islamic State in Syria and in Iraq. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video After Paris Attacks, France Steps Up Fight Against IS

The November 13 Paris attacks have drawn increased attention to Syria, where many of the suspected perpetrators are said to have received training. French President Francois Hollande is working to build a broad international coalition to defeat Islamic State in Syria and in Iraq. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video US, Cambodian Navies Pair Up in Gulf of Thailand

The U.S. Navy has deployed one of its newest and most advanced ships to Cambodia to conduct joint training drills in the Gulf of Thailand. Riding hull-to-hull with Cambodian ships, the seamen of the USS Fort Worth are executing joint-training drills that will help build relations in Southeast Asia. David Boyle reports for VOA from Preah Sihanouk province.

Video Americans Sharpen Focus on Terrorism

Washington will be quieter than usual this week due to the Thanksgiving holiday, even as Americans across the nation register heightened concerns over possible terrorist threats. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports new polling data from ABC News and the Washington Post newspaper show an electorate increasingly focused on security issues after the deadly Islamic State attacks in Paris.

Video World Leaders Head to Paris for Climate Deal

Heads of state from nearly 80 countries are heading to Paris (November 30-December 11) to craft a global climate change agreement. The new accord will replace the Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change that expired in 2012.

Video Uncertain Future for Syrian Refugee Resettlement in Illinois

For the trickle of Syrian refugees finding new homes in the Midwest city of Chicago, the call to end resettlement in many U.S. states is adding another dimension to their long journey fleeing war. Organizations working to help them integrate say the backlash since the Paris attacks is both harming and helping their efforts to provide refugees sanctuary. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

Video Creating Physical Virtual Reality With Tiny Drones

As many computer gamers know, virtual reality is a three-dimensional picture, projected inside special googles. It can fool your brain into thinking the computer world is the real world. But If you try to touch it, it’s not there. Now Canadian researchers say it may be possible to create a physical virtual reality using tiny drones. VOA’s George Putic reports.

Video New American Indian Village Takes Visitors Back in Time

There is precious little opportunity to experience what life was like in the United States before its colonization by European settlers. Now, an American Indian village built in a park outside Washington is taking visitors back in time to experience the way of life of America's indigenous people. Carol Pearson narrates this report from VOA's June Soh.

Video Even With Hometown Liberated, Yazidi Refugees Fear Return

While the northern Iraqi town of Sinjar has been liberated from Islamic State forces, it's not clear whether Yazidi residents who fled the militants will now return home. VOA’s Mahmut Bozarslan talked with Yazidis, a religious and ethnic minority, at a Turkish refugee camp in Diyarbakır. Robert Raffaele narrates his report.

Video Nairobi Tailors Make Pope Francis’ Vestments

To ensure the pope is properly attired during his visit, the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops asked the Dolly Craft Sewing Project in the Nairobi slum of Kangemi to make the pope's vestments, the garments he will wear during the various ceremonies. Jill Craig reports.

Video Cross-Border Terrorism Puts Europe’s Passport-Free Travel in Doubt

The fallout from the Islamic State terror attacks in Paris has put the future of Europe’s passport-free travel area, known as the "Schengen Zone," in doubt. Several of the perpetrators were known to intelligence agencies, but were not intercepted. Henry Ridgwell reports from London European ministers are to hold an emergency meeting Friday in Brussels to look at ways of improving security.

Video El Niño Brings Unexpected Fish From Mexico to California

Fish in an unexpected spectrum of sizes, shapes and colors are moving north, through El Niño's warm currents from Mexican waters to the Pacific Ocean off California’s coast. El Nino is the periodic warming of the eastern and central Pacific Ocean. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this phenomenon thrills scientists and gives anglers the chance of a once-in-a-lifetime big catch. Faith Lapidus narrates.

Video Terrorism in Many Forms Continues to Plague Africa

While the world's attention is on Paris in the wake of Friday night's deadly attacks, terrorism from various sides remains a looming threat in many African countries. Nigerian cities have been targeted this week by attacks many believe were staged by the violent Islamist group Boko Haram. In addition, residents in many regions are forced to flee their homes as they are terrorized by armed militias. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Study: Underage Marriage Rate Higher for Females in Pakistan

While attitudes about the societal role of females in Pakistan are evolving, research by child advocacy group Plan International suggests that underage marriage of girls remains a particularly big issue in the country. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports how such marriages leads to further social problems.

VOA Blogs