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Top officials of China congress propose national park in SCS.

By Roy Mabasa

Ranking officials from China's top legislature are calling for the construction of a national park in the disputed South China Sea to better preserve the marine ecology in the region.

According to Deng Xiaogang, Deputy Communist Party Secretary of Sichuan, the protection of unique and rich resources in the South China Sea has always been given great importance, especially when some of the resources, such as coral reefs, are very fragile.

Deng told state-owned daily Global Times on the sidelines of the annual session of the National People's Congress (NPC)Tuesday that the construction of a national park should be the next move to further protect the region's ecology.

Another NPC deputy, Wang Changren, who is the Party chief of the Hainan Tropical Ocean University, said the construction of a national park in the disputed region "can improve people's awareness of the region's importance, and the South China Sea should be a textbook for marine protection in China,"

Wang stressed that the territorial disputes should not be a hindrance to the proposal. Instead, claimant countries should reach a consensus on the protection of marine ecology in the vast waters.

South China Sea has considerable ecological and biodiversity value, according to environment experts. However, sovereignty disputes have limited the implementation of effective measures to protect these resources from overexploitation and destructive fishing.

Several countries have made competing territorial claims over the South China Sea.

The Philippines, Vietnam, Brunei, Taiwan and Malaysia claim parts of the South China Sea while China claim almost the entire bosy as its own.

Such disputes have been regarded as Asia's most potentially dangerous point of conflict.

CAPTION(S):

South China Sea (EPA/ROLEX DELA PENA/POOL)

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Title Annotation:National
Publication:Manila Bulletin
Geographic Code:0PACI
Date:Mar 8, 2018
Words:283
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