In the light of the US request that development of structures by claimants in the South China Sea be frozen at its 2002 level, the ROC reiterated its claims to the South China Sea. The KMT news organ reports:
In a reply to a press query, the Foreign Ministry of the Republic of China (ROC) yesterday reiterated that judging from perspectives of history, geography, and international law, various groups of islands, including the Spratly Islands (Nansha Islands), the Paracel Islands (Xisha Islands), the Macclesfield Bank (Zhongsha Islands), and the Pratas Islands (Dongsha Islands) and their surrounding waters were undoubtedly an inherent part of Republic of China territory.The Australian reports:
Taiwan — previously a lower key player — announced that its plans to complete a pier on the largest of the Spratly Islands are ahead of schedule, while restating its claim of sovereignty over that and three other island groups in the South China Sea.Yeah, what's that sequence of events?
Meanwhile, new military exercises were announced between Russia and India in the Sea of Japan.
And a senior US State Department official said that while “no claimant is solely responsible for the state of tensions … a pattern of provocative and unilateral behaviour by China has raised serious concerns about China’s intentions and willingness to adhere to international law and standards.”
- The US asks everyone to calm down and lower tensions, and criticizes China. Asks for freeze on new construction.
- Taipei announces it is completing its infrastructure on Taiping island ahead of schedule (middle finger to freeze).
- Taipei reiterates ROC claim to whole of South China Sea (middle finger to calmness).
Wouldn't it have been great if Washington had supported the party more willing to be quiet on these issues and more willing to work with Washington?
REF: For a critique of the Chinese position, see this post.
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