Philippines to expand presence in Spratly Islands to counter China

Image: Municipal Engineering Office, Kalayaan Islands.

Manila has announced its intention to expand its presence in the Spratly Islands by building a new logistics and resupply base in disputed archipelago.

The government of the Philippines is preparing to counter Chinese incursions in its exclusive economic zone with a new logistics and re-supply base in the Spratly Islands.

General Cirilito Sobejana announced that Manila is planning a logistics hub at Pag-asa Island, also known as Thitu Island.

“If we transform it into a logistics hub, our boats will [go] further and our sovereignty patrol in West Philippine Sea will continue,” he said at a press conference.

“We are patrolling where our fishermen are going as well as where the Chinese ships are staying to make sure that our countrymen will not be threatened or intimidated.” 

Thitu is a lightly guarded island with a barracks and an unpaved airstrip, and has been occupied by the Philippines since the 1970s.

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