HAIKOU, July 19 (Xinhua) -- Maritime management has begun in the newly established city of Sansha in the South China Sea, as local Chinese authorities hope to enhance maritime safety there and protect the environment.
The State Council, or China's cabinet, approved the establishment of Sansha, a prefectural-level city in south China's Hainan province, to administer the Xisha, Zhongsha and Nansha islands and their surrounding waters in the South China Sea on June 21.
"We began maritime management there soon after the State Council's decision was made," a spokesman with the Hainan Maritime Safety Administration said Thursday.
Maritime personnel are working to build infrastructure, buoy tenders, supply bases, light stations and radio stations in order to enhance maritime supervision and rescue capabilities, the spokesman said.
Maritime authorities are also studying sea travel routes in the area and considering introducing new laws to regulate traffic, as Sansha will develop its own tourism industry in the future and receive more ships, he said.
In addition, the Hainan Maritime Safety Administration is now researching the disposal of waste and pollutants and the supervision of yachts in an effort to keep a clean marine environment, the spokesman added.
"We are also planning to cruise regularly in the area in the future and set up a daily cruise mechanism when conditions are ripe," he said.
China on Tuesday set up an organizing committee for the legislative body of Sansha, officially beginning the formation of the government of the newly established city.
The government seat of Sansha will be stationed on Yongxing Island, part of the Xisha Islands.
Sansha administers over 200 islets, sandbanks and reefs in the Xisha, Zhongsha and Nansha islands.
China said it first discovered and named the reefs, islets and surrounding waters of Xisha, Zhongsha and Nansha islands. In 1959, it became the first country to set up an administrative office to exercise sovereignty over the area.