Foreign Policy Watch: India-China

Places in news: Julian Felipe Reef


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Julian Felipe Reef

Mains level: Not Much

Julian Felipe Reef

Central Idea

  • The Philippines confirmed that more than 135 Chinese vessels made incursion on Julian Felipe Reef (also known as Whitsun Reef), a place off its coast.

About Julian Felipe Reef

  • Julian Felipe Reef is part of the Spratly Islands, located in the West Philippine Sea, a portion of the South China Sea.
  • It lies within the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone.
  • It is a large boomerang-shaped shallow coral reef.

Recent Dispute

  • The reef gained international attention in early 2021 when a large number of Chinese vessels, described by the Philippines as maritime militia, were spotted at the reef.
  • It is subject to a territorial dispute involving several countries, primarily the Philippines, China, and Vietnam.
  • The Philippines claims the Reef as part of its territory, specifically within its 200-nautical-mile exclusive economic zone, under the UNCLOS.
  • This dispute is part of the larger and complex South China Sea territorial disputes involving various countries in the region.
  • The Philippines has sought international arbitration under UNCLOS to assert its claims.

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