It seems a little territorial dispute is arising in the South China Sea… literally arising, because China is building up reefs and atolls to create artificial islands and then staking a claim to the region. Unfortunately for them, this is NOT how international law works.
According to FoxNews:
China’s Foreign Ministry reacted angrily Tuesday after a U.S. Navy ship passed within 12 nautical miles of disputed islands in the South China Sea late Monday in an apparent challenge to Beijing’s territorial claims in the region.
Since 2013, China has accelerated the creation of new outposts by piling sand atop reefs and atolls then adding buildings, ports and airstrips big enough to handle bombers and fighter jets — activities seen as an attempt to change the territorial status quo by changing the geography.
“We are conducting routine operations in the South China Sea in accordance with international law,” a senior defense official told Fox News late Monday. “We will fly, sail, and operate anywhere in the world that international law allows.” International law permits military vessels the right of “innocent passage” in transiting other country’s seas without notification.
We have Russia buzzing the western U.S. coastline regularly and now China “building” islands in the middle of the ocean, all while our White House continues to deconstruct our military. What could go wrong?!
Photo credit Naval Surface Warriors