China May Have Been Surveying Strategic Waters East of Philippines


Steven Stashwick


The Diplomat


 March 31, 2017


The Philippines Department of Foreign Affairs announced that China is seeking permission to conduct hydrographic surveys of the Benham Rise, an underwater plateau about 150 nautical miles to the east of the northern Philippine island of Luzon. Over the past month, a string of reports indicate that China may have already been surveying these waters without the permission of the Philippines, which has exclusive economic rights over the area. While survey activity may point to Chinese economic exploitation of the potentially resource-rich plateau, it could also indicate preparation for submarine operations in a future Western Pacific clash.