Authorities in China have named several uninhabited islands it plans to develop for tourism. Xinhua reported the country’s State Oceanic Administration (SOA) as saying yesterday that a total of 176 islands in eight coastal provinces and regions will be developed for tourism and other industries, including fishing, agriculture, forestry and construction. The islands are located off the coasts of Liaoning, Shandong, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi and Hainan. Guangdong and Fujian top the list with 60 and 50 islands respectively. Islands off the southern provinces of Hainan have been earmarked for tourism development.
“Any corporation and individual can apply to tap these uninhabited islands as long as they have appropriate development plans and use the islands for the stipulated purposes,” said Lu Caixia, Director of the SOA’s island management office was quoted saying.
Development rights would be granted for up to 50 years. Environmentalists have expressed concern over the plans however, saying that development could severely impact the islands’ ecosystems.