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Taiwan lawmakers visit contested Spratlys


TAIPEI—Three Taiwanese legislators and several top military officers flew to the disputed Spratly islands Monday to renew their territorial claim amid mounting tensions in the South China Sea.

The three legislators – all sitting on the parliament’s defense committee – landed on Taiping Island, the biggest in the contested waters, on an air force C-130 transport plane.

Taiwan built a 1,150-meter (3,795-foot) runway on the fortified island in mid-2006, despite protests from the other countries with claims on the disputed island group.

The parliamentarians were briefed by officers on defense measures for repelling intruders.

“The visit was aimed at reiterating Taiwan’s territorial claim over the Spratlys,” legislator Lin Yu-fang told reporters after the trip.

The move came with tensions in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) running high, with China and the Philippines locked in a maritime dispute over the Scarborough Shoal.

The tensions began when Chinese maritime vessels blocked the Philippine navy from arresting the crews of eight fishing vessels that had entered the area.

Taiwan, Vietnam, Brunei, China, Malaysia and the Philippines claim all or part of the potentially oil-rich Spratlys.

All claimants, except Brunei, have troops based on the archipelago of more than 100 islets, reefs and atolls, which have a total land mass of less than five square kilometers (two square miles).

One-third of global seaborne trade passes through the West Philippine Sea, which is also believed to encompass huge oil and gas reserves.


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Tags: China , Diplomacy , Philippines , Spratlys , Taiwan

  • tagahuron

    Get the help from Israelis, not Obama! They might sell the PHL cheaper KFIR’s and radars!

  • lumpiangshanghai

    Ang Taiwan gustong bumili ng 4 warship sa America,
    Ang Pilipinas ay gustong mang hinge ng warship at tulong sa America.

    SINO KAYA ANG MATIMBANG DITO?

  • Bonesrn

    I think we should consider looking for a more advanced weapons system from russia relatively cheaper and reliable compared to a used, unreliable and costly US made weapons. I don’t really understand why we keep asking things from US which in fact they’re not quiete willing to fully support our cause, at the end of the day they will still continue support china due to their bilateral economic tie ups fellows. The bottomline here it’s either be self reliant, good for our economy by creating more jobs, i truly believe that we filipinos are very skilled and talented to produce our own weapons this is a wake up call for our leaders to pursuade this dreams we never ran out of ideas with this particular and continue boost our status in South east asia. Be proud !!!

  • Bonesrn

    At the end of the day, they speak the same language, same roots what do we expect fellows? Though in paper they’re not in good terms but economically both countries trading nicely…..



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