Spratly islands map showing occupied features marked with the flags of countries occupying them.   Philippines   Republic of China (Taiwan)   Vietnam   Malaysia   People’s Republic of China, CIA, Jan 1995. Wikipedia.

By Dindo Manhit

The Philippine Daily Inquirer-Nov 15

Two weeks ahead of the 33rd ASEAN Summit, the Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Lu Kang confirmed that China had begun operating a maritime observation center, a meteorological observatory as well as environmental and air quality monitoring stations on its artificial islands in the Spratlys. While Malacañang refused to acknowledge China’s announcement, Philippine maritime expert Jay Batongbacal said China’s recent activities on its artificial islands should be viewed in the context of its efforts to gain de facto control of the South China Sea, part of which is the West Philippine Sea.

Read more: https://opinion.inquirer.net/117472/asean-must-insist-on-rules-based-order#ixzz5Wz3FRyZN

First published in: The Philippine Daily Inquirer