By By MICHAEL ROGERS and JULIAN HALEBY/AFP/Getty ImagesFILE – In this March 18, 2021 file photo, Chinese construction workers stand near a new container ship as a container terminal is built on a floating platform in a shipping terminal in Gwangjang, Gyeongsang Province, South Korea.
China plans to build a new terminal for container ships and other cargo vessels at a shipping port in the South China Sea, the country’s state news agency Xinhua reported Tuesday.
China’s new terminal will be a joint venture between the State Council of Shipping and the China Shipping Container Association.
The State Council, which represents container companies, said the project will be constructed at a site near the disputed islands in the Spratly chain of islands in what it called a “responsible and legal way.”
China will invest more than $10 billion in the construction of the terminal, Xinhua said.
The South Korean ministry of logistics said the construction is expected to be completed by 2020.
The South Korean government said it had signed an agreement with China’s state construction firm CCCI, to establish the joint venture in July, a spokesman for the ministry said.
China has been involved in territorial disputes in the region, including claims over parts of the Sprats.
Beijing claims most of the South and East China Seas, but Vietnam, Malaysia, the Philippines and Taiwan also have claims.
China has also built airstrips, ships, railroads and other facilities in the contested waters.