Hughes Reef

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Hughes Reef
Disputed island
Other names:
Dōngmén jiāo
đá Tư Nghĩa
Union Banks en.svg
Map of Union Banks, Hughes Reef to the northeast
Hughes Reef is located in South China Sea
Hughes Reef
LocationSpratly Islands, South China Sea
Coordinates9°55′N 114°30′E / 9.917°N 114.500°E / 9.917; 114.500Coordinates: 9°55′N 114°30′E / 9.917°N 114.500°E / 9.917; 114.500
ArchipelagoUnion Banks
Administered by
People's Republic of China
Claimed by
People's Republic of China

Hughes Reef (Chinese: 东门礁; pinyin: Dōngmén jiāo, Vietnamese: đá Tư Nghĩa) is a reef in Union Banks in the Spratly group of islands, South China Sea claimed by the PRC (China), the ROC (Taiwan), the Philippines, Malaysia, and Vietnam. It is only above water at low tide.[1]

The PRC has reclaimed land on the reef, bringing its area to 7.6 hectares, and occupied the reef.[2] The reef has a lighthouse[3] on top of a two storied defence outpost.[4]

Geographical features[edit]

On 12 July 2016, the tribunal of the Permanent Court of Arbitration concluded that Hughes Reef is, or in its natural condition was, exposed at low tide and submerged at high tide and, accordingly, its low-tide elevations do not generate an entitlement to a territorial sea, exclusive economic zone or continental shelf.[5]

Military development[edit]

In late 2016, photographs emerged which suggested that Hughes Reef has been armed with anti-aircraft weapons and a CIWS missile-defence system.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Digital Gazetteer of the Spratly Islands". 19 August 2011. Retrieved 6 June 2014.
  2. ^ "Hughes reef tracker". Center for Strategic and International Studies. Retrieved 2016-03-05.
  3. ^ "Lighthouses maintained by China". Lighthouses of the Spratly Islands. University of North Carolina. 15 November 2013. Retrieved 19 May 2014.
  4. ^ "Photo : Hughes reef outpost and lighthouse". Panoromio. 24 May 2009. Retrieved 19 May 2014.
  5. ^ "Award" (PDF). Permanent Court of Arbitration. 12 July 2016. p.174
  6. ^ "China's New Spratly Island Defenses". Center for Strategic and International Studies. 2016-12-13. Retrieved 2016-12-17.