On June 18, General Zhang Li delivered a talk at a meeting of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, saying China only controls 4 of the 500 islands in the South China Sea, while Vietnam has 29. The Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei each has more than 3. China has no oil well there, but other countries have more than 1000 – with annual oil output of up to 100 million tons. This trend of development is speeding up. Vietnam and other countries are working closely with the US, Britain and Russia on further development. The Chinese Navy has only 8 vessels covering the area and current air force planes cannot reach the southern part of the South China Sea.
Source: Epoch Times, June 21, 2009.