As The World Focuses On COVID-19, China Launches New Facilities In West Philippine Sea
BUSINESS AS USUAL FOR CHINA – Amid the coronavirus pandemic, China launches two new facilities in the highly-contested West Philippine Sea.
The coronavirus had affected almost all corners of the globe. Governments and health authorities continue their struggle to contain the virus while experts race to find a cure for the disease.
Economies are down and entire nations have been placed under lockdown as a result of the virus. However, for China, it’s business as usual.
Two research facilities were launched in the Kagitingan (Fiery Cross) and Zamora (Subi) on China’s man-made islands. As per the report, the research facilities were under the Integrated Research Center for Islands and Reefs of the Chinese Academy Sciences.
Moreover, it featured several labs on ecology, geology, and environments. These facilities would support research in field investigation, sampling, and scientific research in the Spratlys.
Additionally, the facilities were created to “improve the in-situ observation and experimental capabilities on ecology, geology, environments, materials and marine energy utilization in the tropical marine environment”.
Furthermore, the CAS stated they would like to promote the “innovation capability of public service products of marine science and technology to meet the needs of both China and other littoral countries around the South China Sea”.
However, experts believe that the launching of the facilities at this time is a significant development.
Maritime expert Collin Koh told Inquirer that the ongoing pandemic could be a distraction.
Using these supposedly ‘civilian scientific’ endeavors to assert claim is one such modus operandi, and one that’s also often overlooked by all of us
The world is likely to overlook such developments given their priority focus on the virus. This should apply to the other South China Sea parties too