On April 21, commando teams rappelled from U.S. helicopters and landed from rubber boats in a mock assault to retake an oil rig in northern Palawan, 18 km (11 miles) off the town of El Nido on the South China Sea. The annual war games come under the 1951 Mutual Defense Treaty, part of a web of security alliances the United States built in the Asia-Pacific region during the Cold War.
On April 26, It is reported that the State Oceanic Administration agreed in principle to the Marine and Fishery Department of Hainan sea on the the Xisha Jinqing Island [The Paracel Islands, also called Xisha Islands (西沙群岛) in Chinese] supply base terminal project audit. The project intends to use the sea area of 5,000 acres, by a private enterprise investment in construction, which can supply protection for the South China Sea, tourism and fisheries development. Integrated supply base for the South China Sea Pier project is demonstrated.
Proven and undiscovered oil reserve estimates in the South China Sea range as high as 213 billion barrels of oil, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said in a 2008 report. That would surpass every country's proven oil reserves except Saudi Arabia and Venezuela, according to the BP Statistical Review.
|HAI YANG SHI YOU 981 drilling rig|