The dispute between China and the Philippines has heated up considerably since the UN tribunal in the Hague ruled that China is not the owner of the majority of the waterway in spite of the PRC’s claims. Shortly after the ruling last week that favoured the Philippine’s claims, China announced that the judgement was without merit.
Yesterday and today saw people in China demonstrating “rational patriotism” by demonstrating against the US at KFC outlets and smashing Apple iPhones. The PRC government is blaming the US for encouraging the Philippines to take their claims to the international court.
On video recorded by a CNN journalist riding in a reconnaissance plane over the artificial islands, one can see military runways and numerous ships in a lagoon. Island building on reefs has been going on for the past few years and to date about 2000 acres have been built atop coral reefs. As the surveillance plane flew near and over the disputed area, a voice came over the plane’s radio identifying itself as the Chinese navy telling the aircraft to leave the area. The request that the plane leave was repeated numerous times.
The South China Sea is one of the busiest transportation corridors in the world. At the same time that the US military plane was receiving messages to leave, a Delta aircraft was hearing the same message.
The People’s Liberation Army(PLA) has revealed to the public. The new weapons include missiles that can travel 1500 km, far enough to reach Okinawa. Also displayed were weapons geared to sink aircraft carriers and a new class of warplanes.
The PRC official news agency Xinhua News has pointed out that not all countries agree with the UN court. In particular, they point out that Sudan and Syria both support China’s claims. The area is looking to become further militarized as China has earmarked bomber, reconnaissance planes and refueling aircraft for regular patrols over the newly formed islands.
South China Sea Morning Post
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