For as little as 100,000 yuan (HK$94,000), you can lease - and even name - that remote island off the mainland's coast you have always had your eyes on. A new law on the protection and use of uninhabited islands was introduced on July 1, said Wang Zhong, an official with the State Oceanic Administration in Beijing. 'Individuals and firms may lease these islands for up to 50 years,' he said. 'And they will be allowed to name them and develop them.' He said provincial offices had been flooded with calls from interested parties. 'Two companies have already filed formal applications,' Mr Wang said. There are more than 6,000 islands bigger than 500 sq metres off the coast of mainland China. Only 6 per cent are inhabited. There are also about 10,000 smaller islands. A spokesman for the Marine and Fishing Bureau in Guangdong was quoted as saying leases would cost from 100,000 yuan to 100 million yuan depending on an island's size and location. Getting your own island will require more than just money. Developers will need planning permission from the relevant coastal province before building on an island, said Mr Wang. For security reasons, the People's Liberation Army will also have to assent to each project. Mr Wang said people had expressed interest in using islands for real estate and tourism projects, animal-breeding, port development, storing explosives, and setting up a free-trade zone. He said it was not clear if residents of Hong Kong, Macau or Taiwan, or foreign citizens, could lease an island. Activists supporting China's claim to the disputed Diaoyu islands said they would consider developing some of the islets - if the government would let them. Such a move would anger Japan, which also claims the islands.