Fiery Cross Reef
Fiery Cross Reef is claimed by the Philippines, Vietnam, Taiwan and the People's Republic of China (PRC). The Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative, which monitors territorial conflicts, says Fiery Cross has been transformed into a PRC missile base.
On April 18, 2020 the Peoples Republic of China unilaterally announced the establishment of the Nansha and Xisha administrative districts in the Paracels and the Spratly Islands, drawing a protest from the Philippines, which has a presence of its own on at least nine Spratly islands and islets.
In early 2012 vessels from the PRC mainland swarmed Scarborough Shoal which lies within the Philippines exclusive economic zone (EEZ) after the Philippines detained Chinese poachers. The shoal, just rocks above the high-tide waterline, is strategic because it guards the approaches to Manila and Subic Bays. It is only 124 nautical miles from the main Philippine island of Luzon and about 550 nautical miles from Hainan Island of the People's Republic of China (PRC).
The Obama administration brokered an agreement between the PRC and the Philippines for the PRC to withdraw their ships from Scarborough Shoal. Only Manila complied with the agreement. Beijing has been in firm control of Scarborough Shoal ever since. The Obama administration, despite the brazen Chinese seizure, decided not to enforce the agreement it had arranged.
Whitsun Shoal, also known as Julian Felipe Reef, is 175 nautical miles from Palawan, an island of the Philippines. The feature is within the Philippine exclusive economic zone.
Since December 2020, large Chinese trawlers have lashed themselves together and parked in formations near Whitsun. Vessels come and go, but the numbers have gone up over time. They have not been engaged in fishing. Beijing began to turn features near Whitsun into military outposts.
Second Thomas Shoal
In mid-February 2020, a CCP naval ship locked its radar on a Philippines naval vessel near the Commodore Reef, signaling a strike as an act of intimidation.
Johnson South Reef