Philippine government has decided to resume oil exploration in its exclusive economic zone, a 320-km stretch of waters where a coastal state can exclusively exploit maritime resources under the 1982 U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea.
This includes Reed Bank, which China also claims. This region is located in the disputed South China Sea.
About the dispute: It is a dispute over territory and sovereignty over ocean areas, and the Paracels and the Spratlys –two island chains claimed in whole or in part by a number of countries.
Alongside the fully fledged islands, there are dozens of rocky outcrops, atolls, sandbanks and reefs, such as the Scarborough Shoal.
China: claims by far the largest portion of territory – an area defined by the “nine-dash line” which stretches hundreds of miles south and east from its most southerly province of Hainan.
Vietnam hotly disputes China’s historical account, saying China had never claimed sovereignty over the islands before the 1940s. Vietnam says it has actively ruled over both the Paracels and the Spratlys since the 17th Century – and has the documents to prove it.
Philippines: both the Philippines and China lay claim to the Scarborough Shoal (known as HuangyanIsland in China) – a little more than 100 miles (160km) from the Philippines and 500 miles from China.
Malaysia and Brunei: They lay claim to territory in the South China Sea that they say falls within their economic exclusion zones, as defined by UNCLOS – the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.
Brunei does not claim any of the disputed islands, but Malaysia claims a small number of islands in the Spratlys.