China launched a state-sponsored South China Sea website Wednesday to support its claims to the region.
“We have a pressing need to show the rest of the world that China has sovereignty over the islands in the South China Sea supported by legal reasons and historical evidence,” explained Shi Qingfeng, spokesman for the State Oceanic Administration. Shi added that this is an opportunity for China “to set the record straight.”
The new website, www.chinananhai.com, was put up by the National Maritime Data & Information Service and is supported by the State Oceanic Administration. Viewers can find information about the South China Sea and Chinese projects in the region, as well as historical documents, maps, pictures, and documents supporting China’s “indisputable” right to the region.
The international community has rejected China’s claims for years and officially dismissed them via arbitral tribunal last month.
Site managers have included photos provided by Chinese South China Sea enthusiasts or acquired by various research groups. Zhang Haiwen, director of the State Oceanic Administration Cooperation Company, said, “We’re working with a picture from Vietnam that Vietnam often uses to prove the Paracels are Vietnamese, but we discovered that it was actually edited.”
Chinese Defense Minister Chang Wanquan announced Tuesday that China should make substantial preparations for a “people’s war at sea.” Chang reportedly said that the “military, police, and people should prepare for mobilization to defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
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