China building airstrip in reef near Pag-Asa Island?
- Jaime Laude (The Philippine Star) - July 23, 2012 - 6:34pm

MANILA, Philippines - China is reportedly planning to build its first airstrip adjacent to the Pag-Asa Island, a Philippine-held territory in the hotly-contested Spratlys archipelago.

China's supposedly first air strip in the Spratlys region will be constructed at the Subi Reef, which is only 12 nautical miles from the Philippine-occupied Pag-Asa Island, the seat of Kalayaan Island's municipality in the Spratly region.

The Philippines, Malaysia, Brunie have interlocking territorial claims over the region while China, Vietnam and Taiwan are claiming the entire hotly-contested region as an integral part of their respective maritime domain.

Aside from two four-story buildings, two troop quarters, China has also installed a big radar dome and a lighthouse within the six kilometers long and 3.7 kilometers wide Subi reef.

At the northern tip of the reef is a lighthouse that on calm seas, can be seen from Pag-Asa.

In an aerial territorial patrol conducted last week, the Philippine military spotted a Chinese landing ship armed with three heavy weapons. The ship was moored in SUbi reef when spotted during the aerial inspection, which was conducted to monitor the fishing expedition of a Chinese fleet in the disputed region.

“As we have gathered, China is planning to replicate in Subi Reef what the Malaysians have done in their occupied Layang-Layang Reef," Kalayaan Mayor Eugenio Bito-onon said.

Layang-Layang is currently being marketed by the Malaysian government as one of its finest dive resort in the region. From a reef, the Malaysians developed the area into an island resort with an airport, a hotel and a naval detachment.

Subi Reef and nearby islets, shoal, cays, atolls and reefs in the Spratly’s region are within the 64,976 square miles under the territorial jurisdiction of the Kalayaan Island municipality as per Presidential Decree 1596 declared by then late President Ferdinand Marcos.

Republic Act No. 9522 which was later signed into law has defined the territorial jurisdiction of Kalayaan municipality based in Pag-Asa Island in the hotly-contested Spratlys, as regime of islands under the province of Palawan.

KALAYAAN ISLAND KALAYAAN MAYOR EUGENIO BITO LAYANG-LAYANG REEF PAG-ASA ISLAND PRESIDENT FERDINAND MARCOS PRESIDENTIAL DECREE REEF REGION REPUBLIC ACT NO SPRATLYS SUBI REEF
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