July 25, 2012 News: The move by the Philippine government to ease down the growing tension with China suffered another setback as China elected a new mayor of the newly-established Sansha City.
In an article appearing in the official web portal of the Central People’s Government of China said that Xiao Jie was elected July 23 as Sansha City mayor.
"Xiao, 51, head of the Hainan Provincial Agriculture Department, was elected mayor of the city in the first session of the first Sansha Municipal People's Congress held on Yongxing Island, the government seat of Sansha," the article disclosed further.
Aside from Xiao, also elected is Fu Zhuang as the director of the standing committee of the city's People's Congress.
"Zhuang, 56, deputy director of Hainan Provincial Civil Air Defence Office, was elected director of the standing committee of Sansha Municipal People's Congress, the city's legislative body," the report added.
Also elected were three deputy mayors, head of the city's intermediate people's court and procuratorate as well as another five members of the standing committee of the Sansha Municipal People's Congress.
The report explained that 45 deputies to the municipal people's congress had attended the first session of the first Sansha Municipal People's Congress and cast their votes.
The election came on the heels of the government's approval to form and deploy a military garrison in the Sansha City.
The garrison command shall be a division-level command under the People's Liberation Army (PLA) Hainan provincial sub-command, which is responsible for managing the city's national defense mobilization, military reserves, and carrying out military operations.
Earlier in June 21, China had announced the establishment of Sansha City, which is a prefectural-level city that administers the three disputed island groups of Nansha (Spratly Islands), Xisha (Paracel Islands), and Zhongsha (Macclesfield Bank) as well as their surrounding waters.
The Philippines has been claiming portions of the Spratly Islands as well as the Scarborough Shoal, which is part of the Macclesfield Bank.