The South China Sea fills Ma Sijin with national pride.
The retired ink factory worker says he is glad to see China challenging foreign powers, including the United States, over control of the strategic waterway.
"All the Chinese people have now stood up!" says Ma, 66, quoting the famous words of Chairman Mao Zedong when he announced the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949.
"When all is said and done, everybody knows who these islands belong to," Ma continues, polishing off a dinner of meatballs, rice and greens in Shanghai. "They belong to China."