Skip to comments.Taiwan risks tensions with survey of Spratlys
Posted on 10/09/2013 11:41:21 PM PDT by TexGrill
TAIPEI - Taiwan has conducted a natural gas and oil survey in the disputed Spratly Islands, a legislator said Wednesday, the latest in a string of moves that risk stoking tensions over the South China Sea archipelago.
A team of technicians from the state-run CPC Corporation, Taiwan sailed to Taiping, the island in the chain that is controlled by Taipei, on Monday, legislator Lin Yu-fang's office said in a statement.
"They completed the survey on Tuesday afternoon and were on their way back to Taiwan escorted by a naval fleet" composed of a dock landing ship and a frigate, the statement said.
Taiwan risks ratcheting up regional tensions over the Spratlys with the move. The islands are also claimed entirely or in part by Brunei, China, Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam.
All the claimants except Brunei have troops based on the group of more than 100 islets, reefs and atolls, which are spread across a vast area but have a total land mass of less than five square kilometres (two square miles).
A senior assistant to Lin told AFP the step is expected to be followed by more sensitive surveys of the water in the vicinity, declining to provide details.
The geological survey came after the Taiwanese government granted the company permission in 2011 to explore for oil and natural gas in the waters off Taiping.
Taiwan maintains a small coastguard garrison on Taiping, 1,400 kilometres (870 miles) from its southern coast, and earlier this year sent new mortar and anti-aircraft systems to the islet, angering Vietnam.
Taipei also said it plans to build a dock big enough for warships in the disputed archipelago, an upgrade from the existing pier that caters only to small patrol boats.
(Excerpt) Read more at abs-cbnnews.com ...
A no doubt extremely detailed survey completed in 36 hours.
If I were Brunei, which has ZERO chance of ever getting something out of this...and even if its claim was completely valid, it has no means to enforce it..I’d throw a monkey wrench into this..go to the UN, and say that the Spratleys..which have no population..should be turned over to the UN..and the UN contract out the drilling, and the UN gets all the $$, and uses it to reduce global warming..every liberal’s wettest dream..
Tom Clancy had a (small) book about this issue - it was pretty good primer on this whole Spratley’s topic.
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