South China Sea: Taiwan stakes its claim

Updated 2:52 AM ET, Fri March 25, 2016
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One of the tiny islands that speckle the azure waters of the South China. Taiping, also known as Itu Aba, is part of the hotly-contested Spratly Archipelago, a sprawling collection of reefs and atolls claimed by several different countries. Photographed from the window of a Taiwan C-130 military plane March 23, 2014 Ivan Watson/CNN
Uniformed Taiwan troops posed with rifles for journalists arriving on Taiping Island aboard a military C130 cargo plane March 23, 2016. Outgoing Taiwan president Ma Ying-jeou says he wants to transform Taiping into "an island for peace and rescue operations." Ivan Watson/CNN
One of the military bunkers and anti-aircraft batteries defending Taiping Island. The tiny island is only .51 square kilometers in size. Officials say they replaced the Marines who used to defend this island with coast guard personnel more than a decade ago. Ivan Watson/CNN
During the first ever visit for journalists to Taiping Island, officials also showed off vegetable gardens, fresh water wells, a chicken coop and a pen full of goats. MOI ROC (Taiwan)
The post office on Taiping Island. Ivan Watson/CNN
A lighthouse on Taiping Island, also known as Itu Aba, in the South China Sea. Chen Chien Hsing
A solar-powered street lamp on Taiping Island. Chen Chien Hsing