Scarborough Shoal: Close Encounters with China

Scarborough Shoal: Close Encounters with China. Written by Bam Alegre for

Technically, the place is merely a collection of rocks and reefs. But its numerous names mirror the tension that has engulfed its waters. China believes it is Huangyan Dao based on their historical claims. Filipino fishermen from Zambales refer to it as Kalburo or Bajo de Masinloc or Panatag Shoal — a safe haven against storms.

But for the rest of the world, it is Scarborough Shoal, the focus of a territorial dispute between the Philippines and China.

Photo courtesy: Ateneo de Manila University. “This map, published in 1710 by Heinrich Scherer, shows Hainan island as the southernmost territory of China. This map also shows the unnamed Spratlys as part of the Philippines.” Photo courtesy: Ateneo de Manila University.

Last July 12, 2016, the United Nations Arbitration Tribunal denied the legal basis of China’s historic claiming rights in the area. The ruling also declared that China violated the sovereign rights of the Philippines by interfering with Filipino fishermen, failing…

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