chapter  16
Philippine-China Border Relations: Cautious Engagement Amid Tensions
ByLowell Bautista, Clive Schofield
Pages 16

Lowell Bautista and Clive Schofield Conflicting claims to sovereignty over islands, related overlapping maritime claims, and undelimited maritime boundaries are an enduring source of tension between the Philippines and China. In particular, an influential and often corrosive factor in their bilateral relations is their competing claims in the South China Sea. China asserts territorial sovereignty over numerous islands in the southern South China Sea, generally referred to as the Spratly (Nansha) islands, on historic grounds. Meanwhile, the Philippines claims sovereignty over many of the same islands, which it refers to as the Kalayaan Island Group (KIG), on the basis of discovery and effective occupation (see Map 16.1).