- The outgoing president of Taiwan, Ma Ying-jeou, plans to visit the Itu Aba island on Thursday. +
Itu Aba, also known as Taiping, is part of the Spratly Islands and is one of a number of contested islands in the South China Sea.
The trip is dependent on weather conditions being good in the area.
China has been developing a number of airstrips on artificial islands in the South China Sea, significantly escalating tensions in the region.
Last week, a report commissioned by the U.S department of defence warned that if the current state of affairs continues, the South China Sea would effectively be a 'Chinese lake' by 2030.
President Ma met with his Chinese counterpart, President Xi, in November last year - the first meeting between the leaders of China and Taiwan.
Tsai Ing-wen, Taiwan's president elect from the less 'China friendly' Democratic Progressive Party, does not take office until May and is not sending a representative on the trip.
- China landed what it said was a civilian aircraft on an artificial island it has constructed in the South China Sea to test a runway.
Vietnam accused China of violating its sovereignty through its actions on Fiery Cross Reef in the Spratly Islands.
China responded by saying it has 'indisputable sovereignty' over the islands and their surrounding waters. *
In April, satellite imagery published by IHS showed the beginning of construction on a runway on Fiery Cross Reef by China. +