Sunday on the 51-1 in Miaoli. Pure heaven.
This edition of the regularly irregular Paper on Parade was inspired by Sourabh Gupta, who for some reason has suddenly been popping up in various forums forwarding China's absurd claims to the South China Sea and the Senkakus. Here he is at CSIS in Pacnet #88. And here he is getting spanked in Pacnet #3 a couple of weeks later by someone who actually knows. He updated the piece for East Asia Forum here. I had quite an epic email exchange with him. Especially with my son going into the army here in Taiwan in a couple of years, I have little patience with people who play parlor games of legitimation with China's murderous, illegitimate, war-mongering claims. Please stop, Sourabh. China has no legitimate claim to anything in the East or South China Seas, including Taiwan. And if Beijing wants people to make noises in its favor, it has Xinhua and legions of nationalist academics already forwarding the propaganda.
But all that said, the silver lining of Gupta's recent piece at East Asia Forum was that it led me to Francois-Xavier Bonnet's excellent article on Scarborough Shoal in English. Read it! That thick, juicy piece then led me to Bonnet's piece on the Spratlys in World Bulletin a decade ago, "The Spratlys: A Past Revisited" which deals with the period after the 1930s. Sadly, it wasn't on the net, but Bonnet was kind enough to flip me a copy in PDF imagery and let me post it here. This paper documents how Dangerous Ground and the Spratlys, once two different sets of islands, became fused, talks about the secret military surveys of the 1930s by the various powers, discusses the forgotten Filipino claims from the 1930s, and also shows how confused the governments of China were about what was actually out there, as well as their motive in suddenly claiming the South China Sea islands after centuries of benign ignorance of their existence.
Here are the images after READ MORE. You might want to click CNTRL+ to increase the size...
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