Firming up its hold over the disputed South China Sea, China has established a desalination plant in Sansha city, a prefecture-level city formed in 2012 to administer a number of islands and atolls including those claimed by Beijing’s maritime neighbours in the area.
A 1,000-tonne-a-day desalination plant was put into use on Yongxing Island of Sansha City, to meet the fresh water need of people on the island, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
The new facility, which was officially commissioned on Saturday, is capable of treating 1,000 tonnes of seawater per day and 700 tonnes of processed water is directly drinkable.
Currently, the desalination equipment on Yongxing Island can process 1,800 tonnes of seawater per day.
It was essential to support a large infrastructure development including settlements, specially that of fishermen.
Sansha City was officially established in 2012 to administer the a host of disputed islands, including the Spratly Islands which are a disputed group of 14 islands, islets and more than 100 reefs.
China has already developed the area with schools, offices and other administrative infrastructure headed by local government.
The Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan contested Beijing’s claims over the area.
An international tribunal formed following the Philippines petition has struck down China’s historic claims.
Beijing, however, rejected the verdict and continue to consolidate its hold over the area.