While Philippines is Busy with COVID19, CHINA Built New Bases inside Philippine Waters

Habang abala ang Pilipinas sa Gitna ng kalamidad, Abala din ang China sa pagtatayo ng mga Bases sa loob ng teritoryo ng Pilipinas.

China Erects New Bases in West Philippine Sea, as PH Grapples With COVID-19 Crisis


The Philippines was caught off guard.


In the past weeks, while the Philippine government has been preoccupied with dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, its superpower neighbor has been busy taking advantage of the situation by putting up two new bases in the West Philippine Sea.

March 20 report by China’s Xinhua news website says the Chinese government has successfully established two new “research facilities” on Kagitingan Reef and Zamora Reef, both claimed by the Philippines.

According to Xinhua, the newly established facilities on Kagitingan and Zamora Reefs form part of an Integrated Research Center, a network of scientific research bases in the West Philippine Sea.

“In the future, the Integrated Research Center for Islands and Reefs will focus on research areas in the fields of ocean acidification, micro-plastic pollution, coral reef ecosystem conservation and marine disaster treatment,” the report stated.




China’s Reclamation Activities Declared Illegal

In a landmark decision in 2016, the Permanent Court of Arbitration ruled that China’s reclamation activities in the West Philippine Sea were illegal, including island-building projects on Kagitingan Reef. It also ruled the Philippines has sovereign rights to the West Philippine Sea that is being contested by China.


The same court struck down China’s historic claims and its controversial Nine-Dash Lines encompassing the entire South China Sea.


Source: https://www.esquiremag.ph/politics/news/china-establishes-new-bases-west-philippine-sea-a00293-20200323?utm_source=Facebook-Esquire&utm_medium=Ownshare&utm_campaign=20200323-fbnp-politics/china-establishes-new-bases-west-philippine-sea-a00293-20200323-fbfirst&fbclid=IwAR3Z4TgbYYE0k7oYnp6g5k9AQT7vHpZCQ6CsuqGWTa3sHCCEbGCtpo2tYWY




China launches new facilities in West PH Sea just as world’s eyes fixed on COVID-19


While the world is turning topsy turvy over the novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic that started in China, it’s still business as usual for the Asian giant in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).

Two research stations were recently launched on two of China’s large man-made islands in the West Philippine Sea — Kagitingan (Fiery Cross) and Zamora (Subi) Reef, Chinese news agency Xinhua reported on March 20.


MANILA, Philippines—While the world is turning topsy turvy over the novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic that started in China, it’s still business as usual for the Asian giant in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).

Two research stations were recently launched on two of China’s large man-made islands in the West Philippine Sea — Kagitingan (Fiery Cross) and Zamora (Subi) Reef, Chinese news agency Xinhua reported on March 20.


The research facilities, which are under the Integrated Research Center for Islands and Reefs of the Chinese Academy Sciences (CAS), feature a number of labs on ecology, geology and environments, the report said.

These can support scientists in field investigation, sampling and scientific research in the Spratlys,a volatile region crisscrossed by maritime territorial disputes.


“An integrated scientific research base on coral reef and deep-sea” has now been set up in the two research stations now in operation, plus a previously-established research center on Panganiban (Mischief) Reef, said a Chinese source quoted in the report.

The bases are envisioned as support facilities for “interdisciplinary research of oceanographers.”


They were also designed to “improve the in-situ observation and experimental capabilities on ecology, geology, environments, materials and marine energy utilization in the tropical marine environment,” the Xinhua report said.

“The research conditions and facilities will be further optimized for better support,” the report said.

The CAS planned to “promote innovation capability and the supply of public service products of marine science and technology to meet the needs of both China and other littoral countries around the South China Sea.”

CAS, which was established to solve science and technology problems in the South China Sea, believes it would be contributing to the emergence of a maritime community with supposedly shared resources.

China in recent years had transformed reefs and islands into outposts equipped with harbors, airstrips, missile shelters, communications facilities, expanding its ability to monitor its and rivals’ activities in the South China Sea, which Beijing claims to almost entirely own.


Source: https://globalnation.inquirer.net/186253/china-launches-new-facilities-in-west-ph-sea-just-as-worlds-eyes-fixed-on-covid-19





China opens new research outposts in the West Philippine Sea


China has opened two new new research outposts in the West Philippine Sea, on artificial islands that used to be submerged reefs and are claimed as territory by the Philippines.

The Integrated Research Center for Islands and Reefs of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) officially launched research centers on Zamora (Subi) Reef and Kagitingan (Fiery Cross) Reef, according to a report by the Chinese state-run Xinhua news agency on March 20.

“The Yongshu research station and Zhubi research station, with a number of laboratories on ecology, geology and environments, can support scientists in field investigation, sampling and scientific research on Nansha Islands, according to a source of the CAS,” the Xinhua report stated.

“Yongshu” refers to Kagitingan Reef, and “Zhubi,” to Zamora Reef. “Nansha Islands” is China’s term for the Spratly group of islands, which includes the Philippine-claimed Kalayaan Island Group (KIG).


The West Philippine Sea is the area within the South China Sea that belongs to the Philippines, consisting of its international law-mandated exclusive economic zone (EEZ) and the outlying portion of the KIG.


A triangle of outposts

According to the Xinhua report, the research outpost on Kagitingan Reef “has built several real-time monitoring systems for coral reef ecosystem, vegetation ecology, and freshwater conservation,” while the one on Zamora Reef “has completed the project design of monitoring systems for geological disaster and freshwater conservation.”

The two new stations complement the CAS’ Meiji Research Center built earlier on Panganiban (Mischief) Reef, which China calls “Meiji.” Together, the 3 outposts have formed an “integrated scientific research base” for China, the report said.


Source: https://www.rappler.com/nation/255587-china-opens-new-research-outposts-west-philippine-sea-march-2020

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