To have an idea, please read this first: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-13748349
So who do you think owns the shoal?
I'd say that it belongs to the Philippines, especially considering the proximity. China is just trying to flex its muscle and push its smaller neighbors around, especially the countries in Southeast Asia. Of course, a country like Japan would never let China push it around. As a matter of fact, there is currently some sabre-rattling between China and Japan over particular islands in the vicinity.