原文标题：China to open disputed South China Sea islands to tourism: Official
BOAO, China: China is to open disputed South China Sea islands up to tourism this month, state media reported on Sunday, a move likely to inflame a long-running territorial row with its neighbours.
The plans to allow tourists to visit the Paracel Islands before the May Day holiday is the latest stage in Beijing's development of the territory, which has previously angered Vietnam and caused concern in Washington.
Vietnam and China have a longstanding territorial row over the Paracel Islands. Hanoi last month accused a Chinese vessel of firing on one of its fishing boats which had sailed in disputed waters in the area.
The plan to allow cruise tours follows rapid development of infrastructure in a new city — Sansha — along with the establishment of an army garrison on one of the Paracels last year.
Tourists can only visit the islands on cruise ships as the hotels and other facilities are inadequate, news agency Xinhua said, citing Tan Li, executive vice governor of the southern province of Hainan.
Tan was speaking on Saturday at the Boao Forum for Asia, which is being held in Hainan.
The report quoted shipbuilder Haihang Group Corp Ltd as saying its cruise ship was ready to take almost 2,000 passengers on a tour of the islands. A second cruise ship was being built by Hainan Harbor and Shipping Holdings Co, the report added.
"The tour prices will be relatively high due to the high costs of tourism infrastructure construction," Hainan-based tour agency general manager Huang Huaru told Xinhua.
Tan said local authorities would build more supply ships and ports, and beef up the infrastructure in Sansha.
The city was established last summer to administer more than 200 islets, sandbanks and reefs in the South China Sea, which also include the Spratly Islands and Macclesfield Bank.
All the territory within the two million square kilometres (800,000 square miles) of waters under Sansha's "control" is disputed. The South China Sea is also home to vital shipping lanes and substantial proven and estimated oil and gas deposits.
Located on Yongxing Island, Sansha is home to about 1,000 people, mainly involved in the fishing industry.
Residents of China's newest city rely on ships for fresh water and other materials. The Paracels' only hotel, which has 56 rooms, is also on the island.
Inhabitants have access to a bank and a supermarket, photos on the Internet show. There is a library painted in a salmon-coloured hue and a basketball court shaded by palm trees.
Other pictures depict people relaxing in hammocks outside their modest dwellings.
China has occupied the Paracels, known as Xisha in Chinese, since a brief war with South Vietnam in 1974. It is a cluster of about 40 islets, sandbanks and reefs.
Taiwan, the Philippines, Brunei and Malaysia all have rival claims to parts of the South China Sea, while the United States is also watching Beijing's increased assertiveness.
In his address opening China's parliament last month, former Premier Wen Jiabao said Beijing should "develop the marine economy... and safeguard China's maritime rights and interests".
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Tuan (USA) replies to pcs18
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China is a big bully, and one day will definitely pay the price. Meanwhile, it would be advisable for Japan, Vietnam, Phillipines, bruenai to have a united joint command to counter the big bully.
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The islands have been claimed by both Beijing and Taipei authorities as both claim to legitimately represent China. I support China's move.
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China as muscle power, which they have shown long back in 1961 with India. They took Tibet without any issues, same they did in Arunachal.. in future also they will do the same.. not one can stop them
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Rajender (BAND WAGON)
China the bully is trying to test the waters, All the countries who are affected by China should come together when the need arises.
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SN Kannan (Chennai)
Cool. Now China is showing the world that it is really a super power. The definition of a super power is they can do what they want and flout their arrogance too. Whether US attacks Iraq, or UK asserts over Falklands, or Sonia decimates India - all these acts can only come from a supreme confidence of a strong backing - be it the nuclear arsenal for US, the US backing for UK or the solid sycophancy of Congressmen with a hugely corrupt bureaucracy for Sonia.
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Dr. R.K. Goel- (Noida)
China has supplied North Korea and Pakistan with enriched Uranium ore and China is strongly linked to the Jews. China will still not succeed as Vietnam will destroy them as they did in 1979. Watch the game.
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ESsongs (philippines) replies to Dr. R.K. Goel-
I agree. If western power ends, i rather see Vietnam or japan take the throne otherwise world will end up like the board for Chinese checkers!
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China is a great power and India should respect China and collaborate with China on all fronts. India should also respect and work closely with Russia. If India, Russia, China work more closely, the power of the west will fade and decline more and more. It is good to see the end of western domination since people have had enough of it.
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Aditya M (Cuttack)
Question is how safe the tourists would be in this controversial island? Otherwise the island is a very nice place for tourists particularly who love cruising.
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INDIAN ALIBHAI (Aligarh)
Next step is allowing tourist visa to Arunachal, POK and Nagaland and later INDIA.
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Ram Khan (Delhi)
Jai ho China......... Looking forward to book cruises holiday in coming days....
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LD Bhatia (Delhi)
By doing so not only will China earn precious foreign exchange but also show to the world at large that the 'disputed' islands are Chinese territory where foreigners are welcome to come and enjoy their stay there viewing the scenic beauty and other things all around. This is devious Chinese attempt to claim the islands as Chinese and make them a part of China.
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be cool... nothing will happen... china just wants to get attention....
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i just hate china !
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One way of strengthening their claim!
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Nazeer Khan (Bangalore)
China playing politics now.
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maalolan (planet earth)
Dispute between those two countries not for tourist allow them to come and enjoy.
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tiktiki (hole in walls , trees)
nice island...thinking to go in my honeymoon
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Sanya (Hainan) replies to tiktiki
You are most welcomed, first 100 gets free hotel stay.
Rest In Peace (Bangalore) replies to tiktiki
And you will be bombed...!!! Either by NAM or North Korea
Might is Right.
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SURESH (new delhi) replies to omprakashacharya460
After becoming economical power China is playing very dangerous politics , now china feels it is very powerful country , time has come to . strengthen their claim on disputed area ,- next target may be India
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ChemFert (Farmer) replies to SURESH
Nobody is interested in shht.
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India should learn from China. In India, even Indians need permit to visit their own country - parts of Sikkim & Arunachal Pradesh.
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Xin (Austin, TX)
China should also organize Visitors to Daiuyo Islands and South Tibet.
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NRI USA (usa) replies to Xin
And India will arrest and deport them. Idiot.
China knows how to make money. India does not.
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romi (singapore) replies to girishck2005
wake up india dont be surprised if someday china allows its tourists to visit arunachal with visa"s
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romi (singapore) replies to girishck2005
india is stupid while china is fearless see how cleverly they made tibetians into minority in tibet & our stupid india stil dones not allow indians to stay in kashmir ??
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China is showing the world that the 'disputed' islands are Chinese territory
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