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Spratly Islands

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SPRATLY ISLANDS NEWS
Every Filipino should be aware of the real score at the Scarborough Shoal, as the situation is getting very serious. In a unilateral act of aggression, China recently announced that the Spratly Islands, Paracel Islands and Maclesfeild Bank would now be administered by its own political entity called Sansha City. The newly formed administrative body calls for the construction of Chinese military barracks in our islands, headed by no less than a Senior Colonel from the Chinese Military. They have permanently deployed military ships on the shoal and are mounting regular combat-ready patrols of its environs, indicating that they are militarizing the area. In another act of provocation, the Chinese roped off the entrance leading to the Scarborough lagoon, preventing Philippine vessels from entering. Beijing authorized its coastguards to accost foreign vessels (Philippine vessels included) and to go as far as to physically board our ships, inspect its contents, confiscate it, detain the crew and immobilize the ship, if need be. This authority takes effect in 2013. The Chinese foreign ministry said it has the right to enforce its own coastal boarder defense. China is already acting as if they own our shoal. The Claims

In the United Nation's convention of the Laws of the Seas held in 1994, 120 nations signed an accord agreeing that waters within 200 nautical miles from the shores of a particular nation forms part of the said nation's domain. The Philippines is a signatory to this accord, as with China. The Scarborough Shoal is a mere 120 nautical miles away from Zambales, while it is more than 500 nautical miles away from China. International Maritime Laws recognize the disputed area to be part of Philippine territory. China's claim is based on an ancient map drawn out in the year 120 A.D. In this map, practically the entire body of water that straddles ASEAN is said to form part of China's territory. This is the area claimed by China today. Hence,...

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