Popular Chinese singer entertains troops at Spratlys

BEIJING • In the first in a tour of the Spratlys, where China has been reclaiming land and building facilities on seven disputed reefs, celebrated Chinese military folk singer Song Zuying took to the stage at the weekend to entertain troops at Fiery Cross Reef, Xinhua news agency reported on Tuesday.

Ms Song, a non-combatant personnel in the Chinese navy, performed for 21/2 hours for hundreds of military personnel and construction workers. She was supported by a 50-strong troupe from the PLA Navy, according to the South China Morning Post (SCMP).

Ms Song told Xinhua that more performances were on the cards in contested territories in the Spratlys.

"I am very excited," said soldier Huang Tianqun, according to the Xinhua report. "We will definitely hold our ground here firmly, to defend each and every inch of the reef of our motherland."

The performance on Saturday was conducted against the backdrop of China's second-biggest warship, the Kunlun Shan, and various facilities that have sprung up on the disputed territory.

Various illuminated multi-storey buildings, airport runways, and a naval landing platform dock on the artificial island were also visible during the performance, SCMP reported.

Ms Song, 49, is one of China's most recognised entertainers. She has performed around the world and was nominated for a Grammy.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 05, 2016, with the headline 'Popular Chinese singer entertains troops at Spratlys'. Print Edition | Subscribe