China Approves Military Garrison For Disputed Islands
China has approved the formal establishment of a military garrison on disputed South China Sea islands, state media reports. The command will be based in Sansha city on Woody Island in the Paracels; a city formed in June to govern the area. On Sunday 45 legislators were also named to the new city's congress. The moves come amid severe tensions between China and its neighbours over ownership of the several groups of islands in the South China Sea. China took command of the Paracel islands in 1974 following a battle with Vietnam. Taiwan also claims the islands, whose population numbers only a few thousand, mostly fishermen. Sansha city was established in June as China's administrative base for the whole South China Sea area, including the disputed territories of the Spratly Islands and the Scarborough Shoal.