Spartlys archipelago - Itu Aba Island or Peace Island

 

Introduction

        Itu Aba Island is the biggest island in the Spratlys. It is used by Taiwan, ROC fishermen as a rest stop, occupies an important location within the South China Sea, and has an ROC Navy garrison. Let us explore the island's distinguishing features. 

        You may be wondering why the island is called Peace Island. The island derives its name from the battle ship "Peace (Tai Ping)" sent to recovery the island after Japan's surrender at the end of the Second World War. An interesting fact about Peace Island is that fishermen used to call the island "Huang-Shang Ma Zhi." The Hainan Island pronunciation for this name is "Widuabe." On other western navigation maps, the island is named "Itu Aba Island," which derives from Malay "Itu aba (What's That?)." 

        Itu Aba Island is located at the northwest end of the northern part of the Spratly Archipelago near the Cheng Ho Reefs (Tizard Bank). It is situated on the eastern side of the western navigation route through the South China Sea, giving it a very important location. As an outpost of Taiwan, the island has a very advantageous location for assisting with navigational safety, providing services to fishermen, dealing with shipwrecks, providing help for maritime accidents, monitoring the climate in the South China Sea, etc. Itu Aba Island also has irreplaceable importance in terms of Southeast Asian and other international air routes. (Reference: Discovering the South China Sea)

 

Picture Provided by Discovering the South China Sea, http://vm.nthu.edu.tw/southsea/travel2.htm.