Filipinos can't question China-installed weather facility in Spratlys - Palace

Malacañang on Tuesday said verifying the weather monitoring stations that China has built in some if its artificial in South China Sea’s Spratlys archipelago might “provoke” China.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said this after Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said in a CNN interview that the Philippines cannot physically verify the existence of the weather stations.

Panelo said in a Palace press briefing: “You need to go inside the territory that this particular country claims that it’s theirs. So you may have some problems there; may even provoke something that we don’t want.”

SOURCE: Dharel Placido, ABS-CBN News (2018). Check Spratlys weather stations? That might 'provoke' China, says Palace. Posted at Dec 04 2018 08:42 PM.

The Spratly Islands (Chinese: 南沙群岛 (Nánshā Qúndǎo), Malay: Kepulauan Spratly, Tagalog: Kapuluan ng Kalayaan, Vietnamese: Quần đảo Trường Sa) are a disputed group of islands, islets and cays and more than 100 reefs, sometimes grouped in submerged old atolls, in the South China Sea. The archipelago lies off the coasts of the Philippines, Malaysia, and southern Vietnam. Named after the 19th-century British whaling captain Richard Spratly who sighted Spratly Island in 1843, the islands contain less than 2 km2 (490 acres) of naturally occurring land area spread over an area of more than 425,000 km2 (164,000 sq mi).

In January 2013, the Philippines formally initiated arbitration proceedings against China's claim on the territories within the "nine-dash line" that includes Spratly Islands, which it said is "unlawful" under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). An arbitration tribunal was constituted under Annex VII of UNCLOS and it was decided in July 2013 that the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) would function as registry and provide administrative duties in the proceedings.

On 12 July 2016, the arbitrators of the tribunal of PCA agreed unanimously with the Philippines. They concluded in the award that there was no evidence that China had historically exercised exclusive control over the waters or resources, hence there was "no legal basis for China to claim historic rights" over the nine-dash line. Accordingly, the PCA tribunal decision is ruled as final and non-appealable by either countries. The tribunal also criticized China's land reclamation projects and its construction of artificial islands in the Spratly Islands, saying that it had caused "severe harm to the coral reef environment". It also characterized Taiping Island and other features of the Spratly Islands as "rocks" under UNCLOS, and therefore are not entitled to a 200 nautical mile exclusive economic zone. China however rejected the ruling, calling it "ill-founded". Taiwan, which currently administers Taiping Island, the largest of the Spratly Islands, also rejected the ruling.

SOURCE: Spratly Islands. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

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