MANILA, Philippines – Taiwan has earmarked $110 million for the construction of a pier on Spratlys’ Taiping Island, which the Philippines has also laid claims, set to be completed by 2015.
The new project can hold frigates, radar-evading corvettes and Taiwanese Navy’s Kuang Hua VI-class missile boats, according to reports by Taiwanese media on Monday.
Taiping, largest among the Spratlys Islands in the disputed South China Sea, is the only territory that has fresh water. It has been administered by the Taiwanese government officially since the 1970s.
Taiwan has long used the potentially oil-rich island as an arsenal with an airport managed by Taiwan Air Force in the middle of the sprawling sea–the area of contention between the Philippines, Taiwan, China, Vietnam, Malaysia and Brunei.
Future plans for the island include the further development of the airport to extend from 1,150 meters to 1,500 meters “to enhance safety of landing and takeoff of (Taiwan’s) military aircrafts.”
China, meanwhile, claims virtually the entire South China Sea, which the Philippines contests. Manila says that part of the South China Sea is within the country’s 200-nautical mile exclusive economic zone under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.
Full article: Taiwan to build pier for warships in Spratlys (ABS CBN News)