The Island at Stake
The reason for the conflict is an island. The island in the news is that of Pagasa/Thitu. The island is the territory of Philippines. It is the largest of the island group occupied by the Philippines. Recently, a Chinese fishing and naval fleet had surrounded the island. Chinese coast guard is also present at the scene. The activities are taking place near the sandbar along the island.
China had earlier stated that its land acquisition in the South China Sea was over. But, the recent activities contradict the previous statements of China.
The stand of Philippines on the matter
Rodrigo Duterte is the current President of Philippines. Rodrigo seems reluctant to stand against Beijing. Duterte has stated that why he should defend a sandbar. He asked that why he should let the Filipinos over a sandbar. Their members of judiciary and Congress had claimed that their territories have been invaded. But, the President denied any such claims. He said that the news was not true. He added that the Chinese were only loitering. They weren’t claiming on anything.
What did the photographs say?
Earlier, Congressman Gary Alejano had released photographs of the Chinese fleet. The images showed strong hold of the fleet around the Spratly group.
The images had made Senior Associate of Philippine Justice Antonio Carpio to describe the scenario as an invasion attempt on the Philippine territory.
He stated that these activities were very suspicious and threatening. Duterte had said that he won’t ask for help from America even if China invades. He had lost all trust in America.