Chinese Claim the entire South China Sea as Sovereign Territory.

As noted earlier, there doesn’t seem to be universal agreement on what the “Law of the Sea” (UNCLOS) means. The Washington Post is reporting that Senior Col. Geng Yansheng, a Ministry of Defense spokesman, has claimed that China has “indisputable sovereignty” over the South China Sea but would continue to allow others to freely navigate the 1.3 million-square-mile waterway.

On July 23 Secretary Clinton crossed the Chinese by suggesting an multilateral approach to resolution of competing claims. Competing claims involve Japan, Taiwan, Brunei, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines. Claims to the Spratley Islands group seem to be particularly contentious. There is an outline of competing claims here. China has used force in the past, seizing the Paracel Islands from Vietnam in 1976. Dai Bingguo, China’s state councilor in charge of foreign policy, had told Secretary Clinton in May during a tense exchange on the region that China viewed its claims to the sea as a “core national interest.” In addition they seem to have thrown down the gauntlet to the US over exercises in the Yellow Sea.

To complicate matters, the Chinese have a new weapon system, and anti-ship ballistic missile, to enforce their claims, that makes the Navy’s traditional response to Chinese aggressiveness appear much more dangerous.

81 thoughts on “Chinese Claim the entire South China Sea as Sovereign Territory.

  1. Looks like some of the Littoral Combat Ships (LCS) will be stationed in Singapore and perhaps also the Philippines.

    Since according to the Adm. Greenert, the Chief of Naval Operations, these ships are expected to “focus on the South China Sea, conducting operations to counter piracy and trafficking, both of which are endemic in the area,” Coast Guardsmen are likely to see some service on these ships.

  2. The innovation here,
    is that India is getting into the act.

    “India has also declared itself ready to deploy naval vessels to the South China Sea to protect its oil-exploration interests there, a new source of tension in a disputed area where fears of conflict have been growing steadily.

    “Indian navy chief, Admiral D.K Joshi, said on Monday that, while India was not a territorial claimant in the South China Sea, it was prepared to act, if necessary, to protect its maritime and economic interests in the region.

    “”When the requirement is there, for example, in situations where our country’s interests are involved, for example ONGC (Indian State run Oil and Natural Gas Corporation–Chuck) … we will be required to go there and we are prepared for that,” Joshi told a news conference.”

    Another report here:

  3. The Diplomat reports, “Section 1261 of NDAA 2016 (National Defense Authorization Act for FY2016) outlines a new “South China Sea Initiative,” which appears first in a sector on “Matters Relating to the Asia-Pacific Region.” It notes that the secretary of defense is authorized to provide assistance and training to Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Brunei, Singapore, and, finally, Taiwan, “for the purpose of increasing maritime security and maritime domain awareness of foreign countries along the South China Sea.””

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