China is planning to build a communication network to link its South China Sea islets, according to China's state-run Xinhua news agency Thursday.
Designed by the Hainan Communications Administration, the network will include 51 base stations on islets, 104 base stations on boats and eight undersea cables.
Upon completion, the network will cover all the islets in the South China Sea, including the islets of Xisha, Zhongsha, and Nansha, which are also known as the Paracel Islands, Macclesfield Bank and the Spratly Islands, respectively.
The network is part of China's attempts to tighten its grip on these island groups, which were designated by China as Shansha City of Hainan Province in June in response to territorial claims by other states.
Current communication networks operated by China's three leading telecom companies — China Mobile, China Telecom and China United Telecom — cover all territories within 70 kilometers of the coastline of Hainan Province and a number of other islets, including seven that contain Chinese military bases, according to Xinhua.


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