MANILA, Philippines - The Philippines on Thursday (June 9, 2011) maintained its ownership of Reed Bank while China claims the entire South China Sea and reported that the Philippines should stop all form of explorations in the South China Sea.
But the Malacañang said that the oil exploration should continue in non-disputed areas because the areas are owned by the Philippines.
The Spratly Islands are a group of more than 750 reefs, islets, atolls, cays and islands in the West Philippine Sea between the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei, and Vietnam. Currently the Philippines is occupying nine features (seven islands, three reefs). They comprise less than four square kilometers of land area, spread over more than 425,000 square kilometers of sea. The Spratlys are part of the three archipelagos of the West Philippine Sea but china is claiming the Island.
Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierd said that, "it’s a very responsible statement. We believe that we are asserting only what we claim is ours in our sovereign capacity." he also said that from Western Palawan (one of the Philippine Island), Reed Bank is about 80 Nautical miles while in contrast to them which is about over 400 or a little less than 500 nautical miles from them. So obviously we claimed and was never considered disputed.
The date for President Aquino’s state visit to China has not yet been finalized but Aquino is expected to take up the Spratlys issue with his Chinese counterparts.