Thanks to StrategyPage more info only from today, the latest on the Spratly Islands, South China Sea, those landmasses over which dominion and ownership is disputed.
The Chinese telling the Filipino to BE GONE and will all haste!
"China Expands A Base Next To Palawan"
"August 9, 2013: China is increasing its pressure on the Philippines to remove small detachments of sailors and marines stationed on nine islets and reefs in the Spratly Islands. In particular, the Chinese want the detachment stationed on a World War II era landing ship (the BRP Sierra Madre) removed. The Filipino navy deliberately grounded the LST on Second Thomas Reef in 1999, to provide a place for an observation team. Chinese patrol ships have recently come within nine kilometers of the LST, which China insists is there illegally. The Philippines warns China that it will resist any attempts to use force against the grounded ship. In response China is building more buildings (on stilts) on nearby Mischief Reef (which is only 126 kilometers from the Philippines’ Palawan Island). Second Thomas Reef and nearby Reed Bank are 148 kilometers west of the Philippines (Palawan Island) and well within the Philippines’s EEZ (Exclusive Economic Zone). Although the EEZ is recognized by international law (and a treaty that China signed and uses to defend waters off its own coast) China says that does not apply here because all the islets in the South China Sea belong to China and there is no room for negotiation on that point."
China and the Philippines in mutual disagreement, that area as seen by the Filipino as existing within their EEZ a point of contention for which there seems to be no amelioration.
Those "landmasses" of the South China Sea to include as mentioned in the StrategyPage article:
* Thomas Reef.
* Mischief Reef.
* Second Thomas Reef.
* Reed Bank.
Here is the Second Thomas Reef with the BRP Sierra Madre [within that circle as defined by the yellow lines] as run aground deliberately in 1999. There appears to some sort of human habitation on the reef with an airstrip. This type of "landmass" not normally considered to be inhabitable, lacking any source of fresh water.
The United States by treaty and law having a Mutual Defense Treaty with the Philippines, the U.S. by LAW obligated to come to the aid and assistance of the Filipino in matters of war or self-defense.
"There is no room for negotiation."
Obey tremble-ing-ly! And be quick about it too!