On July 24, 2012, an inaugural ceremony was held for the opening of Sansha City. The ceremony took place on the Island of Yongxing, one of the Xisha Islands (called the Paracel Islands in Vietnam), Hainan Province. Sansha officially became China’s 285th prefectural level city, the southernmost tip prefectural city with the least population, the least land area, and the largest total area under its jurisdiction.
Hainan Provincial Party Secretary Luo Baoming spoke at the ceremony, saying that the CPC Central Committee and State Council’s decision to establish Shansha City was to carry out the administration, development, and protection of the Xisha Islands, the Dongsha Islands (also called the Pratas Islands in Taiwan), and the Nansha Islands (also called the Spratly Islands); and strive to make Sansha City an important base for maintaining South China Sea sovereignty and resource development services.
Source: People’s Daily, July 25, 2012