MANILA, Philippines – China is carrying out land reclamation operations in not just one but a total of five areas in the disputed Spratly Islands well within the Philippine maritime zone.
A confidential Malacañang report detailed the land reclamation activities of China in five areas, namely Johnson South (Mabini) Reef, Cuarteron (Calderon) Reef, Hughes (Kennan) Reef, Gaven (Burgos) Reef and Eldad (Malvar) Reef.
The report noted China has focused its land reclamation operations in areas farther from the Philippine mainland.
No such activities were monitored at three other areas, namely Fiery Cross (Kagitingan) Reef, Subi (Zamora) Reef and Mischief (Panganiban) Reef, where China had built military garrisons and communications facilities.
But the report does not rule out the possibility of China doing land reclamation activities in these three areas once the work is done in the first five reefs.
The assessment by both local and international observers is that the expansion of China’s existing garrisons in these areas is part of Beijing’s ongoing efforts to impose its supremacy over the area.