China has announced that it will be withdrawing its fishing vessels from the disputed Scarborough Shoal area near the Philippines, and the Philippine government reciprocated by stating that it will remove two government ships from the standoff. Though the matter of sovereignty remains unresolved, with both sides presenting historical claims in support of their position.
Is not the Scarborough Shoal, known to the Chinese as Huangyan Island, part of the Philippine Exclusive Economic Zone, due to its proximity to the Philippines, or it a long-claimed territory of China, going back to claims initially made by the pre-1949 Republic of China ? Complicating the political issue is the fact that the Shoal lies adjacent to one of the world's busiest shipping lanes. We shall continue to follow this matter, as it is an important component in the assessment of Country Risk, for all the nations that border the South China Sea.
|Scarborough Shoal marked with red pin|
Will the parties be able to shut down their nationalist rhetoric, and cooperate in the development of the natural resources in the area ? Only time will tell.
|Chinese on Scarborough Shoal|