China & the South China Sea


China's newest city is a tiny and remote island in the South China Sea, barely large enough to host a single airstrip. There is a post office, bank, supermarket and a hospital, but little else. Fresh water comes by freighter on a 13-hour journey from China's southernmost province.
Welcome to Sansha, China's expanding toehold in the world's most disputed waters, portions of which are also claimed by Vietnam, the Philippines and other neighbors. On Tuesday, as blustery island winds buffeted palm trees, a new mayor declared Sansha with a population of just 1,000 China's newest municipality.

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The dispute is one of the issues playing in the background (and occasionally the foreground) of Red Dragon Rising. You can get Book One here or here; Book Four (Blood of War) is due out at the end of the year/early 2013.

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