Is Benham on west or east side of Phl?
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That kicked up a storm, not only because Filipinos have long considered that shoal just 120 nautical miles off Zambales (and over 600 nm from Hainan) as part of Luzon but also because China’s building it up – like it did other shallow WPS areas – poses a security threat to its neighbors. Instead of expressing concern, Mr. Duterte stood to give public assurance that China was not building anything on Panatag. Yet, he did not present any formal Chinese statement to that effect. He glossed over the fact that what was officially stated by China’s foreign ministry was simply that they were not building or planning to build any structure on Panatag. Of course, they were not yet building anything at that point.
Pascual, F. D. Jr. (2017, April 4). Is Benham on west or east side of Phl?. Philippines Star, p. 8.
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- The Philippine Star