Scarborough Shoal, lagoon and reefs, South China Sea, c.135 mi (220 km) W of Luzon, the Philippines. Claimed by China, the Philippines, and Taiwan, it is called Huangyan Island by China and Panatag Shoal by the Philippines. The surrounding waters have rich fishing grounds, and the seabed is believed to hold substantial mineral resources, including petroleum and natural gas. Numerous Chinese fishermen were arrested there by the Philippines, and the area was the site of a naval standoff between China and the Philippines in May, 2012. Since then, China has maintained control of the area. In 2016 the Hague Tribunal ruled that China's claims to the South China Sea and Scarborough Shoal were not justified, and the Philippine rights in the area had been violated. It also ruled that the shoal did not meet the criteria that would permit the claiming of a exclusive economic zone.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
See more Encyclopedia articles on: Southeast Asia Physical Geography