China's new-established Sansha seeks investment
Updated: 2012-09-21 17:54
"We can send at least another 1,450 fishing vessels to develop fishing grounds in the South China Sea," said Li Xiangmin, president of the institute.
Gigantic oil and gas deposits lying under the ocean have also been eyed by industry giants.
The South China Sea's oil reserves are estimated to be around 23 to 30 billion tons, with gas reserves believed to total about 20 trillion cubic meters, according to the Ministry of Land and Resources.
In late August, the China National Offshore Oil Corp, the country's largest offshore oil and gas producer, opened 26 new offshore blocks for cooperation with foreign companies, with 22 blocks in the South China Sea.
China was the first country to discover and name the reefs, islets and surrounding waters of the Xisha, Zhongsha and Nansha islands and exercise sovereignty over the area, according to the Ministry of Civil Affairs.
The ministry said the establishment of Sansha will help the country to better administer the islands, carry out construction projects and protect the environment of the South China Sea.