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Sansha City – Building A City To Claim A Sea

Military-Civil Fusion in the South China Sea

Sansha city

China has been building the world's largest city by area – Sansha City. While that in itself is news, what is more newsworthy is where it is being built and why.

Sansha city is located in the South China Sea. It covers an area of 800,000 square miles within the "nine-dash line" that China claims is its territory. Though most of the city is just sea, it also encompasses over 280 islands, shoals, reefs, and other geographical features. Some of the islands under the city limits are the Paracel Islands and the Spratly Islands. Matters get more interesting and ominous when taken into account that five other nations - Vietnam, Taiwan, the Philippines, Malaysia, and Brunei - also lay claim to these islands.

Beijing founded this enormous city, which is said to be 1700 times the size of New York, in 2012. Over the past decade, the area has been transformed into a habitable place flush with conveniences. China has gone all out to equip the site with infrastructure and services. Today, the island features an expanded port, seawater desalination, sewage treatment facilities, and 5G network coverage. Besides these, new public housing has sprung up all over the place. The island has its own functioning judiciary, school, medical facilities, and banking services. Regular charter flights connect the world's largest city to the mainland.

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