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Verbal clash between Taipei and Manila over Itu Aba Island

Both countries claim the atoll, situated between the Spratly Islands. The spark was a military exercise by Taipei in front of the long bluff that is under the control of the Taiwanese Coast Guard. China is not the only state in the region that has occupied disputed territories.

Taipei () – Taiwan and Manila are in verbal conflict over the sovereignty of the Itu Aba atoll, which is part of the Spratly Islands. Located in the South China Sea, the archipelago is the scene of territorial disputes between several States in the region and China claims almost 90%.

Today, the Taiwanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs declared that the national naval forces have the right to conduct exercises off the island. Taiping-such is the denomination that Taipei uses – that it considers its own. Yesterday, Manila had expressed “strong objections” to what he defined as “illegal” military maneuvers in the Philippine territory of Ligaw Island.

Although the two sides dispute the islet, it is currently under the control of Taipei, which has stationed a Coast Guard garrison there. Taiwan also administers the island of Pratas (or Dongsha) in the northern part of the South China Sea. Various experts speculate that the Chinese invasion of Taiwan could be preceded by a military operation to conquer Pratas.

The Philippines often clashes with China over sovereign rights in the South China Sea. Manila, along with Vietnam, Brunei, Malaysia, Taiwan and to some extent Indonesia, opposes Beijing’s territorial claims. This has not prevented the Asian giant from militarizing some islands and coral reefs in the South China Sea. To contain China’s expansion, US warships conduct regular patrols near these military outposts.

According to data from Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative, the Chinese have 27 outposts in the region: 20 in the Paracel Islands and 7 in the Spratlys. Beijing also controls the Scarborough Sandbar, the subject of ongoing tensions with the Philippines.

It should be noted, however, that China is not alone in occupying disputed areas in the South China Sea. In addition to the two Taiwanese-controlled territories, Malaysia has seized five cliffs in the Spratlys. In the same archipelago, the Philippines occupies nine atolls. Vietnam, for its part, has between 49 and 51 outposts spread over 27 islets.



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Written by Editor TLN

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