China to set up illegal village on Vietnamese island; more illegal patrols

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A China News photo of a Chinese patrol boat and helicopter that were sent over Vietnamese waters in the Truong Sa archipelago recently

A Chinese official has announced plans to establish a new Chinese village on Mischief Reef in Vietnam's Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelago, which China claims is its own and is currently trying to take over.

A Chinese surveillance helicopter also flew over the area recently, accompanied by a patrol boat.

Xinhua reported Tuesday that Xiao Jie, the elected mayor of Sansha city, which China has established illegally on Phu Lam Island in the Hoang Sa (Paracel) Islands, as telling Chinese media that he will send more Chinese people to live on the islands and set up a new village on Truong Sa's Mischief Reef.

Late last year, China started work on solar panels, a helicopter landing field and a basketball court on Truong Sa islands. Administrative buildings have been built on Phu Lam to account for "Sansha City."

Xinhua cited the Guangdong Maritime Safety Administration as announcing that a helicopter was sent over Truong Sa on Monday afternoon to supervise maritime traffic near Sinh Ton Island.

It said the helicopter was the first ever sent over the waters, which are located off Vietnam's south central coast. The helicopter was accompanied by a Chinese surveillance boat.

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The East Sea, known for rich oil reserves and other resources as well as being an important water route that includes the Truong Sa and Hoang Sa Islands, has been plagued by territorial disputes involving Vietnam, China, the Philippines, Brunei and Malaysia.

But China has been the most brazen provocateur and has attacked boats from other countries several times, including attacks against Vietnamese sailors and fishermen.

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