Taiwan carries out Rescue Exercise in Disputed South China Sea
Taiwan carried out a search-and-rescue exercise in the South China Sea to cement its hold over Taiping in the Spratly island group. Even though Taiwan claims all of the Spratlys, it only occupies Taiping. It carried out a drill simulating a fire onboard a ship that forced crew members to seek refuge on Taiping. Taiwan wants to make Taiping into a base for humanitarian relief missions in the area.
The South China Sea is part of Pacific Ocean with eight littoral countries / territories viz. China, Taiwan, Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei, Singapore and Vietnam. It is made of some 200 tiny islands, coral reefs, sholas, sandbanks etc. grouped into three archipelagos of Spratlys, Paracels and Pratas. China has been aggressively claiming the entire South China Sea as its own. The other countries that claim the various territories in the South China Sea are Taiwan, Indonesia, Vietnam, Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei.