China Militarizes Disputed Islands


In a move sure to raise tensions with neighboring countries China has announced that it will establish a military base on disputed islands in the South China Sea.  Several countries including Vietnam, the US, and the Philipines all denounced the move.  The area in question was actually annexed by China after a skirmish with Vietnam back in the 1970’s.  What this does signal to the rest of the world is all the Chinese propaganda about a peaceful rise to great power status was only to keep the world at bay while China finished modernizing so it could soon begin to wield its new-found might.  The real question becomes what can anybody actually do about the great Chinese land grab that is about to get underway?  Unfortunately the answer is not that much.  The only country with power to check Chinese aggression would be the US but I would think it highly unlikely that the US would risk an open confrontation over the issue.  The US could mop up the Chinese military in the South China Sea in short order.  However, the cost economically would be unbearable.  This is why you should never be indebted to a foreign power, and under no circumstance be indebted to a foreign power who happens to be your chief strategic competitor in the world.  The situation the US finds itself in with China today will in the future be a case study of how not to conduct a nation’s policy at the military, political, and economic level.

Spratly Islands Conflicting Claims

Claims by Country
Country South China Sea Spratly Islands Paracel Islands Gulf of Thailand
Brunei UNCLOS no formal claim no n/a
Cambodia (n/a) n/a n/a UNCLOS
China all* all all n/a
Indonesia UNCLOS no no n/a
Malaysia UNCLOS 3 islands no UNCLOS
Philippines significant portions 8 islands no n/a
Taiwan all* all all n/a
Thailand n/a n/a n/a UNCLOS
Vietnam all* all all UNCLOS
UNCLOS = UN Convention on the Law Of the Sea
n/a = not applicable
*excluding buffer zone along littoral states (calculations for buffer unknown)

US Concerned about Chinese Troops Plans on Disputed Island


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