The Philippines and China both claim the territorial ownership of Spratly Islands. This is one of the disputes faced by the two Southeast Asian Countries. Geographical wise, the Philippines is the closest country in Spratly Islands along with other five Asian countries Malaysia, Brunei, Taiwan, Vietnam, and China. The territorial dispute over Spratly Islands has been on for the past three decades. This issue has led to military skirmishes, diplomatic rows, and fisher folk detention.
The reason behind Spratly Island’s territorial claim
Spratly Islands is a rich source of oil gas, hydrocarbon, as well as essential minerals. The geographical location of Spratly is also favorable for commerce and South China Sea transport and this is actually very close to Palawan Province, Philippines. The calculated distance is less than 200 nautical miles. The geographical location alone serves as a solid proof that Spratly belongs to Philippines.
Spratly Islands is consist of 26 islands and islets. It has a maritime area of 160,000 square kilometers and has a total of 170 hectares insular area. Spratly Islands is famous among fishermen, but the island is somewhat dangerous when it comes to commercial navigation. As a matter of fact, for the last century fishermen are advised not to pass through the Spratly Islands. One of the Asian Countries that has explored the island is Japan. They have searched the island for military purpose during the World War II.
The dispute between China and Philippines over Spratly Islands has actually brought into another level. The economic relationship of the two countries was significantly affected by the chaos. The Philippines was banned to export their agricultural products to China. The Chinese government also advised their people not to travel to the Philippines due to security reasons. The dispute was already brought to the tribunal body, but the United Nation remains neutral to this territorial issue.
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