China building tsunami alert centre in South China Sea

first_imgFrom K J M VarmaBeijing, Mar 17 (PTI) China is building a tsunami alert centre in South China Sea, a senior official here has said and underlined that the facility in the disputed region has been approved by the UN.The facility is being constructed in the South China Sea, Wang Hong, chief of the State Oceanic Administration, told reporters on the sidelines of the closing ceremony of the annual legislative session yesterday.”In fact, it has begun operations and has already issued tsunami alerts to the international community, including neighbouring countries in the South China Sea,” Wang was quoted as saying by the state-run Global Times.He said the project has received United Nations approval.This is the latest announcement on facilities China is constructing in the disputed South China Sea, though Wang did not reveal the specific location of the facility.China defends facilities in the South China Sea like a light house saying that it will benefit all the countries in the region while critics say it is an attempt by Beijing to solidify its presence in disputed islands and reefs with permanent structures.Officials of South Chinas Hainan Province also announced that the province is building piers and restoring the ecological environment on the the Paracel islands which China calls as Xisha Islands.Lighthouses have started operating since October on Huayan and Chigua reefs in the Nansha (Spratly) islands, whilethe airport on Yongxing Island has been managing flights.China claims almost all of the South China Sea.advertisementIts claims are countered by the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan.United States Navy too is actively present in the area as Washington seeks to assert freedom of navigation in the South Chia Sea.”Sovereignty is not only protected verbally but is now exercised and governed through our actions. This will effectively enhance our presence in the South China Sea,” Ling Shengli, secretary-general of the International Security Study Centre at China Foreign Affairs University, told the Global Times.Chinas foreign ministry has reiterated that such construction falls within Chinas sovereignty rights and are civilian and public facilities aimed at better serving coastal nations in the South China Sea as well as maritime traffic from around the world.Ling stressed that China has been constructing facilities for civilian use and limited defence facilities to protect civilian infrastructure.Meanwhile, the US will continue to insist on so-called freedom of navigation in the region and may lead to disputes. But major conflicts are not likely between the two countries under the Code of Unplanned Encounters at Sea, Ling said. PTI KJV ASK AKJ ASKlast_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *