This map has been shared among Chinese netizens as proof that China owns the South China Sea. I am sharing it because I can see from this map why people can not agree on who owns the South China Sea.
Chinese who think China owns the South China Sea see the word “China” written under “Paracel Islands” and point to that as evidence that China owns the South China Sea. However, people who disagree with them can easily see that while this map was made in 1947, Vietnam, which declared independence from France in 1945, was not even on it. This is proof that this map was not completely correct.
If this is the earliest map in which the South China Sea was shown as part of China, then it is not logical to conclude that the South China Sea has been part of China “since ancient time”.
It is possible that some parts of the South China Sea have been occupied by the Chinese since some time after the end of WWII because China was an ally during WWII. That is probably the best argument for China to be among the owners of some parts of the South China Sea.
All countries around the South China Sea have been using the South China Sea since ancient time. Even countries from other parts of the world have been using the South China Sea since ancient time. Having used the South China Sea does not give a country exclusive rights to it.
By the way, if the map above is correct in describing the Paracel Islands as a Chinese territory at the time, Vietnam will have to find later maps to prove that the Paracel Islands had somehow become Vietnamese territory after 1947, or find some way to prove that the Chinese wrest control of the Paracel Islands from Vietnam illegally in or before 1947. Vietnam may argue that the islands were passed on to the Chinese illegally. But is there any remedy for it?
This issue is critically important, and so has to be repeated and elaborated on.
The first and most stressed upon reason for the Chinese government to oppose the Permanent Court of Arbitration’s handling of the South China Sea disputes is that the court decided to rule on sovereignty. The Chinese government has been saying it loud and clear that what the court has been doing in this case is illegal because the court does not have the right to rule on sovereignty, and that since the court’s decision is illegal, no one should pay attention to it.
The word “illegal” accompanies every mentioning of the court’s decision in the Chinese media all day long, day after day. So whether the court’s decision is really illegal is an important issue.
In fact, the court did not rule on sovereignty. In this case, it did not have to rule on sovereignty because all countries that have signed on to the UNCLOS have given up their historical rights to the sea, and the court’s decision is only for countries that have signed on to the UNCLOS. If China does not want to be bound by the decision, she just needs to drop out of the UNCLOS. Accusing the court of making an illegal decision is incorrect and so will not have any meaning.
The way things are going, China does not get punished for not respecting the court. So China does not need to accuse the court of anything to get away with not respecting the court. China might as well stay quiet.
It’s no secrete that a lot of Chinese admire Westerners, try to imitate Westerners in every way possible, including having plastic surgeries to look more like Westerners.
For your reference, here is an article that lays out the similarity between the Chinese government and the US government: “The DC echo chamber must accept that China is emulating U.S. behavior“.
“Rules are for the little people” is also explicitely stated as the reason why China should not be contrained by international laws in an article being shared on Wechat.
So, if the US government wants China to do something or not do something, show China that the US government is doing just that.
By the way, this is one of the reasons why I think Hillary Clinton should not be the President of the United States. Imagine that there are two Hillary Clinton in this world, what would it be like?
There is a major mistake in my previous posts concerning the recent Permanent Court of Arbitration case on the South China Sea disputes. The case was not about the ownership of a territory. It was about what China and other countries around the South China Sea are entitled to according to the UNCLOS.
The reason why I made this mistake could be that I was misled by the Chinese government into mistakenly believing that the case was about sovereignty.
In fact, the court was not ruling on sovereignty as the Chinese government has been protesting. (The Chinese government is accusing the court of issuing a ruling against the laws for the reason that, according to the Chinese government, the court has ruled on sovereignty.)
The reason why the court was able to make a ruling on what each country around the South China Sea is entitled to is that when any country signs up to the UNCLOS, she gives up her historic rights to the sea. The basis for the court to make the ruling was not sovereignty, as the Chinese government has been claiming.
For China to avoid being constrained by the UNCLOS, China needs to leave the UNCLOS instead of attacking a court that makes a ruling based on UNCLOS.
When I said China should ask for opinions from others on the disputes in the South China Sea, I meant to say China should ask for opinions from some reputable courts of law, not from the court of public oppinion. Even though courts of law can also be bias, they are more impartial than the court of public oppinion. If not, lawyers and courts are not needed.
It is easy to imagine setting up an artificial court of law, using computer programming. But it is hard to imagine setting up an artificial court of public oppinion, as the public are more driven by emotion and self-interests than by reason and laws.
If it is impossible to find a court that all parties in a dispute can trust, just imagine that we can write a computer program that, with all the relevant laws and facts in a database, can generate a ruling.
Relying on the court of public opinion, as the Chinese government has been doing in its handling of the South China Sea disputes, is in fact turning the settlement of the disputes into a power struggle.
Rage is intimidating. So people fake it sometimes, just to intimidate others. How can I tell that the Chinese government’s outrage at the Permanent Court of Arbitration is fake? Real outrage comes from a sense of being mistreated beyond one’s expectation, as in “I can’t believe what they did to me”. As the Chinese government did not even bother to make an effort to pursuade the court by participating in the arbitration, choosing to publicly villify the court instead, I do not think that they expect the court to be able to be fair to them. Can you get angry at receiving something that you have expected?
Another reason for me to believe that the outrage is fake is that if the Chinese government believed that it had a strong case, it would have participated in the arbitration no matter what. Since it chose to bypass the opportunity to present its case, I do not think that it was very sure about its case. Since it was not sure about its case, it should not be as surprised and so as angry as it looks.
By contrast, I see the Taiwanese government’s outrage at the court as more real. The court’s finding concerning Taiwan’s holding in the South China Sea is surprising to a lot of people. I think the court’s reasoning could have been affected by the fact that the Taiwanese government could not add input into the case because inputs could only be added by the Chinese government.
By the way, I have seen similar fake outrage in Hillary Clinton and Amanda Knox.
Beneath the false appearance of outrage is a desire to be in control.
Rights are a lot more important than benefits. People who have rights can use their rights to work for their benefits, which can be limitless. People who only have benefits will have limited benefits – whatever benefits they are given.
When you are only looking for benefits, you can easily be bought, even giving up your principles for the benefits. This is what I think is happening to some Democrats who voted for Bernie Sanders. It can also be what is happening to the new government of the Philippines.
Some Democrats who voted for Bernie Sanders in the Democratic Primary are now happily accepting Hillary Clinton because Hillary Clinton has promised them some of the benefits that they have been fighting for. These Democrats have given up their principles of not being corrupted by Wall Street. They have basically allowed themselves to be bought by Wall Street through Hillary Clinton. They have now become part of the “evil empire” that they fought against not too long ago.
The new government of the Philippines also seems to have expressed their willingness to be bought. They seem to say that if they get a share of the natural resources in the disputed area, they will not mind letting China claim the ownership of the area. While avoiding confrontation is desirable, giving up your principles for it is not. Besides, whether China can make a claim of the area involves not only the Philippines but the whole world, as this is a matter of principles for the whole world. Relying on military forces and power struggles rather than convinvcing arguments to secure the ownership of a territory is not acceptable to a world that wants the rule of law and equal rights for all.
When you see benefits as the most important, you stop being a person of principle and will not be taken seriously as a result.
In my opinion, China is lacking in the use of persuasion and is too ready to use force in territory disputes. So is Japan. Neither country has gone to court to present their arguments. Both are engaging in power struggles and are ready to use force as a first resort.
The United States has not been helping to move Japan in the right direction in the dispute in the East China Sea. As a result, China has been copying what Japan has been doing in the East China Sea to the South China Sea.
If the United States wants to lead, she does need to be really impartial and tell every country to do the right thing. Otherwise, China will not listen. When you are teaming up with one party in a dispute and vow to defend their interests, it is impossible to persuade the other party in the dispute to do the right thing.
The Chinese government’s position has always been that China has “indisputable sovereignty” over the territory that the Philippines is also making a claim of. Since China thinks that the ownership of the territory is not up for debate or negotiation, what does China think is up for debate or negotiation with the Philippines? Other than asking others for their opinions, what can the Philippines do? And yet, the Chinese government is complaining that the Philippines did not want to negotiate, opting instead to take the case to court.
Going to a court that does not have any means to enforce its ruling is nothing but asking for an opinion. China can ask for an opinion from another court if she does not trust that court. But not asking for anyone’s opinion and insisting on self-righteousness is not going to be convincing at all. In Chinese, what China is doing is called 唯我独尊, meaning seeing oneself as the only one that deserves any respect, not having respect for anyone else.
By the way, I do not understand why you have to get approval from people you want to sue to sue them, which is what China is insisting in this case. China is complaining that the Philippines did not ask for China’s approval before taking the case to court.
When more people are out of work, the governments try to stimulate the economy using quantitative easing, which devalues the currencies. Devaluing a currency helps increase exports and thus create more jobs. But it also shrinks the domestic market and causes more job loss. In the end, the effect of the devaluation of currencies in many countries is more job loss around the world. That is why the world econnomy is in trouble.
All governments need to change their strategies to develop their economies, from relying heavily on export, to relying on domestic consumption. Stop all the quantitative easing and the world economy can grow again.