China moves to formally garrison South China Sea
Despite protests from other Asian countries, China's military is making moves to up their presence in the disputed South China Sea.
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Sansha city is based on what is known in English as Woody Island, part of the Paracel Islandsalso claimed by Vietnam and Taiwan. China took full control of the Paracels in 1974 after a naval showdown with Vietnam.Skip to next paragraph
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Though Sansha's permanent population is no more than a few thousand, mostly fishermen, its administrative responsibility covers China's vast claims in the South China Sea and its myriad mostly uninhabited atolls and reefs.
The state-run Vietnam News Agency said Vietnam had protested against the Chinese decision. It cited a month-old statement by a senior official that the designation of "the so-called Sansha city" was illegal and overlapped with districts Vietnam identified as its own.
Earlier this month, hundreds of Vietnamese demonstrated in Hanoi against China's establishment of Sansha city and its invitation to oil firms to bid for blocks in offshore areas thatVietnam claims as its territory.