An aerial view shows the Philippine-occupied Thitu Island, locally known as Pag-asa, in the contested Spratly Islands, South China Sea, March 9, 2023.
REUTERS/Eloisa Lopez/File Photo Acquire Licensing RightsMANILA, Dec 1 (Reuters) - The Philippines has built a new coast guard station on the contested island of Thitu in the South China Sea, boosting its ability to monitor movements of Chinese vessels and aircraft in the busy disputed waterway.
Inaugurated on Friday, the new three-storey facility is equipped with state-of-the art technology such as radar, automatic identification, satellite communication, and coastal cameras, the Philippine coast guard said in a statement.
Manila's outpost of Thitu is its biggest and most strategically important in the South China Sea, largely claimed by Beijing, despite conflicting territorial claims by several regional nations.
Besides the Philippines, Brunei, China, Malaysia, Taiwan and Vietnam have competing claims of sovereignty in the South China Sea, a conduit for goods in excess of $3 trillion every year.
Eloisa Lopez, Eduardo Ano, Thitu, Karen Lema, Mikhail Flores, Clarence Fernandez
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