China raised the national flag Tuesday over the newly established city of Sansha on Yongxing Island.
China's official Xinhua news agency said the national anthem played as the flag was raised in front of the city government's main building in the country's Hainan province. Sansha was created to administer the disputed Xisha, Zhongsha and Nansha Islands and surrounding waters in the South China Sea.
Xinhua said China's Central Military Commission has approved the deployment of a garrison of soldiers to guard the disputed islands.
Xisha, Zhongsha and Nansha Islands are Chinese names for the natural resource-rich Spratlys, the Paracels and the Macclesfield Bank islands group in the South China Sea, seen as vital for international trade and shipping, The New York Times said.
The islands are also claimed by neighboring countries, including Vietnam and the Philippines.
The Philippine government has filed a diplomatic protest against China's steps to strengthen its claims on the islands.
Most Popular Stories
- Social Media Initiatives Should Follow Customers' Lead
- Apple CEO: Offshore Units Not a 'Tax Gimmick'
- SEO Traffic Lab Celebrate Wins at Digital Marketing Event 'Internet World 2013' in London
- U.S. Senate Accuses Apple of Large-scale Tax Avoidance
- Marketo Makes a Mint in IPO: Stock Shoots Up More than 50 Percent
- Bieber Booed at Billboard Awards
- Apple Said to Duck Billions in Taxes
- Georgia GOP Preaches Minority Outreach
- Crude Oil Up, Gasoline Down
- Ford's Supplier Diversity Program Turns 35