Philippines to Take Legal Options Against China Coral Reefs ‘Destruction’

5/5 - (1 vote)

The Philippines has firmly lodged a protest against what it views as the deliberate degradation of coral reefs situated within its exclusive economic zone (EEZ) in the South China Sea, with China being the accused party. As a country in distress because of this issue, the Philippines to Take Legal Options Against China Coral Reefs. However, Beijing has promptly dismissed these allegations, branding them as a mere ploy to “orchestrate political theatrics.”

Philippines to Take Legal Options Against China

Philippines Coral Reef Protection: A Divisive Step

The prospect of seeking arbitration in this situation is stirring considerable controversy, particularly given the Philippines’ significant triumph in 2016. In that landmark case, the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) ruled decisively in favor of the Philippines, definitively stating that China’s assertion of sovereignty over the majority of the South China Sea lacked any legal foundation under international law. This ruling has remained a persistent source of tension in the ongoing relations between the two nations.

The Iroquois Reef is situated in close proximity to the Reed Bank, an area where the Philippines aspires to tap into substantial gas reserves. However, this aspiration is encumbered by China’s overlapping territorial claim to the same region, resulting in a clash of interests.

A Controversial Move: Philippines to Take Legal Options Against China Coral Reefs

The possibility of pursuing arbitration in this case is highly controversial, especially considering the Philippines’ landmark victory in 2016. In that case, the PCA ruled in favor of the Philippines, concluding that China’s claim to sovereignty over most of the South China Sea had no basis under international law. This ruling has been a point of tension between the two nations.

The Iroquois Reef is in close proximity to the Reed Bank, an area where the Philippines hopes to access gas reserves. However, this plan is complicated by China’s claim to the same area, resulting in conflicting interests.

China’s Response

China, which has consistently refused to recognize the 2016 ruling, denied the recent claims of coral reef destruction. The Chinese embassy in Manila released a statement urging the Philippines to cease what it called “creating a political drama from fiction.” Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Mao Ning dismissed the allegations made by the Philippines.

Reported Damage

Reports of “severe damage inflicted upon the marine environment and coral” at the Iroquois Reef were made earlier this week by the Philippines’ coast guard and armed forces. They noted that 33 Chinese vessels had been moored in the area during August and September. These vessels, often categorized as fishing trawlers, were described as part of China’s “maritime militia.” It was alleged that they were involved in harvesting coral.

Coral reefs in South China play a very important role. They are used in limestone extraction and construction of materials among many other things like jewelry and medicines.

Complex Sovereignty Claims: Philippines vs China

China has been asserting its sovereignty claims in the Spratly Islands by constructing manmade islands on submerged reefs. Some of these islands are equipped with runways, hangars, radar systems, and missile installations. The Spratly Islands are also claimed by other nations, including Vietnam, Malaysia, and the Philippines, resulting in overlapping EEZs and complex territorial disputes.

In conclusion, the Philippines’ decision to explore legal options against China regarding the alleged destruction of coral reefs within its EEZ marks a significant development in the ongoing disputes in the South China Sea. This move has the potential to reignite tensions and may have far-reaching implications for regional geopolitics.

You May Also Like

Who is Rupert Murdoch: Unraveling the Media Mogul’s Legacy and Resignation

India Suspends Canadian Visas Amid Escalating Diplomatic Standoff: What Led to This Friction?

Biden announces aid for Ukraine: $325M military aid package after Zelensky visits White House

India Passes Women’s Reservation Bill to Reserve One-Third of Parliament Seats for Women

Russia Strikes Ukrainian Cities: Recent Attacks, Zelensky-Biden Meeting, and Ongoing Conflict

Leave a Comment