Philippines: China Reclamation Damaging Reefs

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

April 14, 2015

South China Sea Maritime Claim: Map by Lowy Institute for International Policy

South China Sea Maritime Claim: Map by Lowy Institute for International Policy

 The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), Philippines said China’s massive reclamation activities in the South China Sea have destroyed 300 acres of coral reef systems, which may lead to an estimated $100 million in annual economic losses in coastal states.

 
"China’s massive reclamation activities are causing irreversible and widespread damage to the biodiversity and ecological balance of the South China Sea/West Philippine Sea," Philippine foreign affairs spokesman Charles Jose said.
 
The DFA made the statement as it described as “unacceptable” China’s assurance that its reclamation activities are not causing ecological damage in the South China Sea.
 
“China has pursued these activities unilaterally, disregarding people in the surrounding states who have depended on the sea for their livelihood for generations,” Jose said.
 
Last Friday, China’s Foreign Ministry went into detail about its reclamation works in the South China Sea, saying it has conducted “scientific assessments and rigorous tests before the reclamation activities began. 
 
The islands will host “typhoon shelters, navigation aids, search-and-rescue centers, marine meteorological forecasting stations, fishing services and civil administration offices,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said.
 
But Jose said China has pursued these activities unilaterally, “disregarding peoples in the surrounding states who have depended on the sea for their livelihood for generations.” 
 
Earlier this year, the Philippines filed a formal complaint against China. Experts suggest China's accelerating reclamation efforts like those at Mischief Reef are a reaction to that move.
 
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