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China steps up surveillance of South China Sea islands

BEIJING (PTI): Amid maritime disputes with countries like the Philippines over the resource rich islands in the South China Sea, China has put them under active three-dimensional surveillance.

China has adopted three-dimensional (3D) visual management over 4,000 islands, a report by the Ministry of Land and Resources said Thursday.

Three-dimensional visual information of these islands is collected via ground vehicles, airplanes and satellites.

Also 2,851 islands have been put under aviation monitoring and surveillance, and 45 islands along baseline points of China's territorial waters are under ground watch, the report said.

All the historical data of Chinese islands have been processed and put into a database to strengthen island management, the report said.

The government last year also released its first list of uninhabited islands available for development in the country, the report said.

China has maritime disputes with Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia and Brunei over a number of small uninhabited islands in the South China Sea and with Japan in the Pacific ocean.

According to the report, China's ocean-related industries totalled 4.56 trillion yuan (USD 724.49 billion) in output in 2011, an increase of 10.4 per cent from a year earlier.

The figure accounted for 9.7 per cent for the country's total GDP, the report said.

The share of ocean-related industries in the Pan-Bohai region stood at 36.1 per cent, while that of the Yangtze River Delta and the Pearl River Delta was 30.1 per cent and 21.5 per cent, respectively, the report said.


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