Academic journal article Southeast Asian Affairs

The Scarborough Affair

Academic journal article Southeast Asian Affairs

The Scarborough Affair

Article excerpt

Scarborough Shoal, a group of uninhabited rocks, lies 138 nautical miles off the coast of Zambales in Luzon. To its west, a further distance away is Macclesfield Bank, an entirely submerged atoll that China claims. In April 1997 a team of amateur radio buffs organized by the Chinese Radio Sports Association set sail from Guangzhou for Scarborough Shoal --- apparently a prized destination for amateur radio groups. The group arrived at the shoal, but departed without completing their expedition after Philippine navy personnel asked them to leave. Two Filipino legislators joined the fray by briefly visiting Scarborough Shoal and having their photographs taken waving a huge Philippine flag.

Beijing reacted through a statement by Foreign Ministry spokesman Shen Guofang asserting Chinese historical sovereignty over the shoal, which they call Huangyan Island. The Chinese Government also said that under UNCLOS, the shoal can be considered Chinese because it is an exposed part of China's continental shelf. Other Chinese sources referred to Huangyan Island as part of Macclesfield Bank. …

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