While the rest of the world has been busy trying to solve China’s mess, Beijing has successfully launched two new bases in the highly-disputed West Philippine Sea.
In the middle of the COVID-19 crisis, state-run news site Xinhua reveals two new research stations have been built over Fiery Cross (Kagitingan) and Subi (Zamora) Reef in the Spratly Islands.
The installations will allow Chinese scientists to research ‘ecology, geology, environments, materials and marine energy utilization in the tropical marine environment’.
‘The Yongshu [Kagitingan] research station and Zhubi [Zamora] research station, with a number of laboratories on ecology, geology, and environments, can support scientists in field investigation, sampling and scientific research on Nansha [Spratly] Islands, according to a source of the CAS [Chinese Academy of Sciences]’, reads the report.
In years prior, Beijing has maintained ownership of the contentious territories, along with most of the West PH Sea, through the ‘9-dash-line’. The claim has since been invalidated by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in Hague. In addition, China was also criticized for ‘causing severe harm to the coral reef environment and violating its obligation to preserve and protect fragile ecosystems’.