The Chinese authorities are providing housing to almost all residents of Sansha city in South China Sea, disputed by China, Vietnam and Philippines. Sansha City has 159 people, which makes it possibly the least populated urban area in the world, Chinese media reported on Tuesday.

China established the new city last week to function as administrative HQ for other disputed areas, Zhongsha and Nansha islands, and their surrounding waters in South China Sea.

Although nearly 40% of China's 1.4 billion people can't afford proper houses, Beijing is building 83 low-rent apartments for Sansha City's residents . A new hospital is also under construction. A rain water treatment plans and two 500-kw diesel generator sets have also been established — all to woo the local people over to their side. It's not known yet whether authorities plan to populate the island with mainland Chinese.


The main thoroughfare in the new city is called 'Beijing Road' to ensure loyalty of the residents towards China and defeat any possibility of a split in loyalty towards Vietnam or Philippines, a Chinese government source said.

Sansha City's residents will be absorbed as workers providing ancillary support to the new military garrison, which was announced three days back, sources said. China has also announced names of army officers , who will command the garrison and supplement the existing naval garrison in the disputed islands.

Xinhua reported that the island's residents have "enthusiastically welcomed" the improvements in their lives. "Now we have access to power and clean water, and there are supermarkets, banks, restaurants and cafes on Beijing Road. Life is much better than before," the agency quoted a resident as saying.



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