Đá Vành Khăn
|Mischief Reef in 2001, before Chinese land reclamation|
|Location||South China Sea|
|People's Republic of China|
|People's Republic of China|
|Republic of China (Taiwan)|
Mischief Reef (Chinese: 美济礁; pinyin: Meiji Jiao; literally: "Meiji Reef"; Tagalog: Panganiban reef; Vietnamese: Đá Vành Khăn) is a reef in the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea, located 250 kilometers (or 134.989 nautical miles) west of Palawan Island of the Philippines.
History and topography
One source says that Mischief reef was discovered by Henry Spratly in 1791 and was named after the German sailor Heribert Mischief, one of his crew.[dubious ] It has rocks above water at low tide and a lagoon.
On 12 July 2016, the tribunal of the Permanent Court of Arbitration concluded that Mischief Reef is, or in their natural condition was, exposed at low tide and submerged at high tide and are, accordingly low-tide elevations that do not generate entitlement to a territorial sea, exclusive economic zone or continental shelf.
Location and Description
In 1994 and 1995, China built initial structures on stilts in the area. The Philippine government protested these actions. However, the Chinese government rejected the protest and said that the structures were shelter for fishermen. In 1999, another wave of protests from Manila occurred when China added more structures to Mischief Reef.
China was also reported to have planted buoys in nearby Sabina Shoal. Philippines claimed that China had a well-rehearsed routine when laying claim to a new reef: first put down buoys, then build concrete markers. Temporary wooden or bamboo shelters followed, and then permanent structures went up. The Philippines therefore would try to destroy the buoys or markers before China has time to build larger structures. The Philippines' decision not to destroy the Chinese structures on Mischief Reef has prevented an escalation of the dispute. The Philippines claims that China has always been prepared for armed conflict when challenged, as is evident in China's defense of reefs from Vietnam in the 1988 Johnson South Reef Skirmish which resulted in more than 70 Vietnamese deaths.
On 11 July 2012, the Chinese Type 053 frigate Dongguan ran aground on the reef, sparking embarrassment for the Chinese government and causing an awkward diplomatic situation. The ship was later towed back to base.
In 2015, land reclamation started inside the rims. The Philippines filed a diplomatic protest against China after the discovery of their reclamation activities. By January 2016, work was well advanced on developing a military base with a large harbour and a 2.6 km runway, with an area of 5.58 square kilometres (2.15 sq mi). A civilian test flight to new airport was conducted by a passenger jet of China Southern Airlines on July 13, 2016.
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