Monday, March 24, 2014

China ratchets up control over South China sea coming closer to confrontation


China demands removal of Japan’s forces from Spratley Island Group
Philippines drops food to troops after China "blockade":  "We confirmed there was an air drop of food to our troops," Defence Department spokesman Peter Paul Galvez said. He said the air drop was "via airplane," but did not say when it occurred nor give further details. The incident took place at Second Thomas Shoal in the Spratly island group, which is around 200 kilometres (125 miles) from the western Philippine island of Palawan and which Manila insists is part of its continental shelf.

The shoal is more than 1,000 kilometres from Hainan island, the closest Chinese landmass, but China claims nearly all of the South China Sea based on what it says are historical records. A tiny unit of Filipino marines live on the BRP Sierra Madre, a decrepit, beached former World-War-II US navy transport ship that was transferred to the Philippine navy and run aground on the shoal in the 1990s.
China has long demanded the Philippines pull out the vessel and the marines.


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