Soldiers of Naval Region 2 Command and journalists left Vung Tau province on Sunday for a journey to Truong Sa islands ahead of the Lunar New Year.
New Year visit to Truong Sa archipelago
During two weeks, one ship will dock at DK1 platform in Truong Sa and the other at Radar station 590 in Con Dao. Private Nguyen Quoc Dat will station in DK1 platform: “This will be the first time I celebrate Lunar New Year in DK1 platform. I feel happy to be with my companions in arms. I am committed to safeguarding national sovereignty. I want to tell my parents not to be worried, I am fine in the platform. I wish people in the mainland to enjoy a happy New Year, we will try our best to protect our fatherland’s island and sea sovereignty.”
About Truong Sa
Trường Sa is an island district of Khánh Hòa Province in the South Central Coast region of Vietnam. It was established on the basis of the Spratly Islands, which is also claimed wholly or in part by the Republic of China (Taiwan), the People’s Republic of China, the Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei. According to the 2009 census, the district has a population of 195 people.
Trường Sa District was established on the basis of small coral islands/cays, reefs and banks of the Spratly Islands which is 248 nautical miles away from Cam Ranh. As the islands contains a large number of scattered geographic entities, it is imaginatively divided into eight clusters including Song Tu, Thi Tu, Loai Ta, Nam Yet, Sinh Ton, Trường Sa, Tham Hiem and Binh Nguyen by Vietnam.
The Spratlys are one of the major archipelagos in the South China Sea which complicate governance and economics in this part of Southeast Asia due to their location in strategic shipping lanes. The islands have no indigenous inhabitants, but offer rich fishing grounds and may contain significant oil and natural gas reserves and as such are important to the claimants in their attempts to establish international boundaries.
Some of the islands have civilian settlements, but of the approximately 45 islands, cays, reefs and shoals that are occupied, all contain structures that are occupied by military forces from Malaysia, Taiwan (ROC), China (PRC), the Philippines and Vietnam. Additionally, Brunei has claimed an exclusive economic zone in the southeastern part of the Spratlys, which includes the Louisa Reef.
In 2005, a cellular phone base station was erected by the Philippines’ Smart Communications on Pag-asa Island.
On 18 May 2011, China Mobile announced that its mobile phone coverage has expanded to the Spratly Islands. The extended coverage would allow soldiers stationed on the islands, fishermen, and merchant vessels within the area to use mobile services, and can also provide assistance during storms and sea rescues. The service network deployment over the islands took nearly one year.
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