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Philippines Naval Base Construction Makes Progress Amid S China Sea Dispute

© AFP 2021 / POOLAn aerial photo shows Thitu Island, part of the disputed Spratly group of islands, in the South China Sea located off the coast of western Philippines on July 20, 2011
An aerial photo shows Thitu Island, part of the disputed Spratly group of islands, in the South China Sea located off the coast of western Philippines on July 20, 2011 - Sputnik International
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The construction of the Philippines naval base opposite the disputed Spratly Islands in the South China Sea is making progress despite the pitfalls.

Earlier it was reported that the Philippine armed forces chief said that the construction of a new naval base opposite the disputed Spratly Islands in the South China Sea was “a top priority.”

Since then, Philippines have made progress on its construction. On June 2, it was reported that the Philippine Navy (PN) had released images affirming that it had completed the first major access road to a naval pier being built there.

According to the PN, the road, which is part of what is described as a three-year development to make Oyster Bay a major naval harbor for the Philippines as well as visiting allies, would now allow the construction of the naval pier to move faster.

More precise details are still publicly unavailable as many of these plans remain classified.

Chinese dredging vessels are purportedly seen in the waters around Mischief Reef in the disputed Spratly Islands in the South China Sea, in this file still image from video taken by a P-8A Poseidon surveillance aircraft and provided by the United States Navy on May 21, 2015 - Sputnik International
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The initial goal was to complete some advanced work on the base before current president Benigno Aquino III leaves office in 2016, but Catapang suggested that there has been little progress made.

It was previously indicated that the base would be able to hold a few large naval vessels, including a few US ones as well.

The military officials have also noted that having a base so close to the South China Sea would permit the armed forces of the Philippines to significantly shorten the travel time of its vessels and minimize fuel and other logistical costs, as well as boost the morale of troops stationed nearby.

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