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Taiwan Defies China, Finishes Dockyard in Taiping Island

Taiping Island, also known as Itu Aba, is the biggest of the naturally existing Spratly Islands in the South China Sea….reports Asian Lite News

The Coast Guard Administration has confirmed that a project of making upgrades to a wharf in Taiwan-controlled Taiping Island in the South China Sea has been completed, and added that the project would allow larger vessels to dock at it, reported Focus Taiwan citing the Central News Agency.

On being asked if President Tsai Ing-wen will preside over the reconstructed wharf’s inauguration ceremony, the CGA declined to comment.

The CGA’s confirmation came after a report in the Chinese-language United Daily News (UDN) earlier on Monday, which featured a plea from Kuomintang (KMT) legislator Chen I-hsin for Tsai to visit Taiping to reassert the China’s sovereignty over the disputed island, reported Central News Agency of Taiwan.

Taiping Island, also known as Itu Aba, is the biggest of the naturally existing Spratly Islands in the South China Sea.

It is located 1,600 kilometers southwest of Kaohsiung and is managed as part of the southern Taiwan city’s Cijin District. However, the island is also claimed by China, Vietnam and Philippines.

Meanwhile, Chen, a member of the Legislature’s Foreign and National Defence Committee underlined that Tsai follow in the footsteps of past Presidents Chen Shiu-bian and Ma Ying-jeou and travel to Taiping for the opening ceremony, the CGA said in a statement, reported Central News Agency of Taiwan.

Notably, the 1.7 billion New Taiwanese Dollar (USD54.4 million) project to remove dirt and deepen navigation channels would allow 4,000-tonne CGA boats to conduct routine patrols in the seas surrounding Taiping, according to a release.

The restoration, which was finished on October 30, 2023 and passed all needed inspections on January 20, also included a reinforcement of typhoon-related disaster mitigation measures, according to the CGA.

The Taiping island in the South China Sea currently hosts around 200 coast guardsmen trained by the Marine Corps who conduct regular training.

It is one of two areas held by the Taiwanese government in the South China Sea, the other being Dongsha, or Pratas Island, located 450 kilometers southwest of Kaohsiung. (ANI)

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