China has pushed over the last fifteen plus years to claim the South China Sea through a series of maneuvers in this strategic area. The South China Sea covers a vast area. My “Stealing Thunder” novel series (shameless plug – link here) details a coup in China by generals who wish to start a war with Japan – China’s longtime enemy in the region. Of course, this war is a power shift because…
- The South China Sea is a region of tremendous economic and geostrategic importance. One-third of the world’s maritime shipping passes through it, carrying over US$3 trillion in trade each year. Huge oil and natural gas reserves are believed to lie beneath its seabed. It also contain lucrative fisheries, which are crucial for the food security of millions in Southeast Asia.
The Critical Strategy is also to deprive key US Allies like Japan, South Korea and the Phillipines from shipping which is necessary for their country’s economic well-being. This situation became the basis for my novel series and seems to becoming true more every year.
The PLAN deploys numerous tactics in this endeavor including the occupation of reefs, shoals and islets claimed by the other nations, threats and obstruction of the Freedom of navigation on the High Seas principles.
The United States remains firm that any coastal state law or regulation must not infringe upon navigation and overflight rights enjoyed by all nations under international law,” said John Supple, a Pentagon spokesman, in response to questions about China’s decree this week.
“Unlawful and sweeping maritime claims, including in the South China Sea, pose a serious threat to the freedom of the seas, including the freedoms of navigation and overflight, free trade and unimpeded lawful commerce, and the rights and interests of South China Sea and other littoral nations,” he said.
- Make no mistake: while it may appear trivial and inconsequential in the grand scheme of things, the outcome of this feud between the two superpowers could well determine the world’s next superpower – should the US blinks, it will give China carte blanche to define the geopolitical reality in Asia without fear of US intervention. No wonder this takes place just days after Biden’s historic humiliation in Afghanistan.
- China’s vast claims to the resource-rich waterways – among the busiest sea lanes in the world – have been a source of growing tension between Beijing, neighbouring governments and Washington for years, and China’s escalating demand suggests that China feels it now has the upper hand to press the US in staking its claim to the contested territorial waters.
- Meanwhile, Vietnam, the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia and Taiwan have competing claims in the South China Sea, and Japan and South Korea have their own disputes with Beijing in the East China Sea. Five years ago, an international tribunal ruled that Beijing’s sweeping claims of almost the entire South China Sea had no legal basis.’ Source Link here