Earlier this week (26JUL12) Chinese authorities announced the appointment of major officers of the Military Garrison Command for Sansha. Sansha is the capital of the newly created administrative region of Yongxin Island.
Some analysts interpret Sansha’s presence in the hotly-disputed South China Sea as a passive-aggressive exertion of power over the region.
China’s State Council established its authority in Sansha in late June in a possible response to Vietnam’s declaration of marking one of the region’s islands as its own.
In an interview with Time Magazine, maritime security specialist at the Japan Institute for International Affairs in Tokyo, Tetsuo Kotani, said the decision to appoint major officers for the Sansha garrison shows that the tension in the South China Sea is increasing.
US presence is expected to continue, and both the Philippines and Vietnam have stated that they will not recognize China’s newly-formed city.