- By Joshua Keating
Joshua Keating is associate editor at Foreign Policy and the editor of the Passport blog. He has worked as a researcher, editorial assistant, and deputy Web editor since joining the FP staff in 2007. In addition to being featured in Foreign Policy, his writing has been published by the Washington Post, Newsweek International, Radio Prague, the Center for Defense Information, and Romania's Adevarul newspaper. He has appeared as a commentator on CNN International, C-Span, ABC News, Al Jazeera, NPR, BBC radio, and others. A native of Brooklyn, New York, he studied comparative politics at Oberlin College.
Looking for a vacation destination featuring sun, sand, and thumbing your nose at China’s geopolitical ambitions? Have you considered the Spratlys?
The Philippines plans to develop a disputed island in the South China Sea into a tourism centre with a 100-metre (330-ft) concrete wharf, officials said on Monday, a bold assertion of its sovereignty that is bound to rile China.
Last week, China protested the planned construction of a beaching ramp by the Philippines on the coral-fringed island, the second largest in the Spratlys and the biggest occupied by the Philippines in the contested region.[..]
A Philippine navy commander said local authorities planned to transform military-held areas of the Spratlys into tourist attractions, including potential diving spots.
In the 1990s, Japanese tourists frequented the area for its pristine beaches and coral reefs, ferried by yacht from Cebu Island in the Philippines.
But the military will first build a pier on Thitu, possibly by the second half of the year, Juan Sta. Ana, head of the Philippine Ports Authority, told Reuters. A panel of defence, tourism and transportation and communications officials will finalise a development plan for the island after April 8.
China claims “indisputable sovereignty” over the area based on historical records, a claim that just might be motivated by the estimated 213 barrels of oil in the South China Sea. Various sections of the uninhabitable 250-island chain are claimed by China, the Philippines, Vietnam, Taiwan, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Brunei, though only China claims all of them. The dispute has sometimes become violent: at least 70 sailors were killed in a skirmish between the Chinese and Vietnamese navies over a disputed reef in 1988.
But hey, why let that get in the way of some good diving?
Josh Rogin covers national security and foreign policy and writes the daily Web column The Cable. His column appears bi-weekly in the print edition of The Washington Post. He can be reached for comments or tips at email@example.com.
Previously, Josh covered defense and foreign policy as a staff writer for Congressional Quarterly, writing extensively on Iraq, Afghanistan, Guantánamo Bay, U.S.-Asia relations, defense budgeting and appropriations, and the defense lobbying and contracting industries. Prior to that, he covered military modernization, cyber warfare, space, and missile defense for Federal Computer Week Magazine. He has also served as Pentagon Staff Reporter for the Asahi Shimbun, Japan's leading daily newspaper, in its Washington, D.C., bureau, where he reported on U.S.-Japan relations, Chinese military modernization, the North Korean nuclear crisis, and more.
A graduate of George Washington University's Elliott School of International Affairs, Josh lived in Yokohama, Japan, and studied at Tokyo's Sophia University. He speaks conversational Japanese and has reported from the region. He has also worked at the House International Relations Committee, the Embassy of Japan, and the Brookings Institution.
Josh's reporting has been featured on CNN, MSNBC, C-Span, CBS, ABC, NPR, WTOP, and several other outlets. He was a 2008-2009 National Press Foundation's Paul Miller Washington Reporting Fellow, 2009 military reporting fellow with the Knight Center for Specialized Journalism and the 2011 recipient of the InterAction Award for Excellence in International Reporting. He hails from Philadelphia and lives in Washington, D.C.| The Cable |