The South China Sea has been in the news as China has made claims that other nations do not accept:
October 31, 2015
An international tribunal has ruled that it has the power to hear the Philippines’ case against China’s claims over nearly all of the South China Sea, a move analysts say will likely force Beijing to dig in deeper instead of sitting down to talk.
In a ruling released late on Thursday, the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) in The Hague determined that it has jurisdiction over seven issues that Manila raised in a 4,000-page plea it submitted in March last year.
Reviewing the claims submitted by the Philippines, the tribunal has rejected China’s argument that the “dispute is actually about sovereignty over the islands in the South China Sea and therefore beyond the tribunal’s jurisdiction”, the five-man tribunal said in a nine-page summary of its ruling.
Manila’s legal team expects the PCA to rule on the merits of the Philippines’ case in six months.
This is the second time in a week that China’s sovereignty claims in the South China Sea have been challenged.
Earlier this week, a US guided-missile destroyer sailed within 12 nautical miles of at least one of China’s man-made islands in the Spratlys, as Washington asserted freedom of navigation in one of the world’s busiest waterways.http://news.asiaone.com/news/asia/tribunal-rules-it-can-arbitrate-south-china-sea-dispute#sthash.5hrbpZZz.dpuf
UN Tribunal to adjudicate South China Sea legal dispute
By Joseph Santolan
31 October 2015
On October 29, the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) in The Hague ruled that it had jurisdiction in the legal case filed by Manila against Beijing over a territorial dispute in the South China Sea. Having established its jurisdiction, the PCA will now examine the legal merits of Manila’s case, with a final decision expected in 2016.
The ruling comes amid a series of dangerous provocations carried out by Washington in the South China Sea. On October 27, the United States sailed a guided missile destroyer within the 12-nautical-mile territorial waters of facilities occupied by Chinese forces. It termed this war-mongering act a “freedom of navigation” exercise, promising to repeatedly stage such provocations in the future.
Over the past five years, Washington has sought through its “pivot to Asia” to diplomatically, economically and militarily isolate and encircle China, seeking ultimately to dismember the country and subordinate it to the interests of US finance capital as a semi-colony. With each new provocation, the outbreak of war becomes increasingly likely.
Chinese Admiral Wu Shengli, speaking in a joint video teleconference with US chief of naval operations Admiral John Richardson on Thursday, warned: “If the United States continues with these kinds of dangerous, provocative acts, there could well be a seriously pressing situation between frontline forces from both sides on the sea and in the air, or even a minor incident that sparks war.”https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2015/10/31/phil-o31.html
October 31, 2015
On Tuesday, the USS Lassen guided-missile destroyer sailedwithin 12 nautical miles of one of China’s man-made islands in the disputed Spratly archipelago. Beijing criticized the patrol as “extremely irresponsible,” and demanded that the U.S. immediately stop infringing on Chinese territory. The U.S., on the other hand, has been arguing for several weeks that it would deploy ships in the area as part of a “Freedom of Navigation Operation,” something that the EU also apparently believes in.
“The U.S. are exercising their freedom of navigation,” Reuters quoted a senior EU official as saying at a briefing, adding that the union is concerned about China’s building of islands in the contested waters in the South China Sea.
While the EU statement may be welcomed by other Asian nations like Vietnam, the Philippines, Taiwan and Malaysia contesting China’s territorial claims in the region, it could jeopardize EU’s fostered relations with Beijing. The EU, which has been trying to attract Chinese funds to revive the bloc’s struggling economy, has also decided to join the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.
“Whilst not taking a position on claims, the EU is committed to a maritime order based upon the principles of international law, in particular as reflected in the United Nations Convention on the law of the Sea (UNCLOS),” an EU foreign affairs spokesman said in a statement, according to Reuters. http://www.ibtimes.com/european-union-backs-us-south-china-sea-patrol-says-its-freedom-navigation-2163760
October 30, 2015
China told the U.S. on Thursday that even a minor confrontation between their two militaries in the South China Sea could culminate into a larger war.
The comments, relayed to Reuters by a Chinese official, came in a conversation between Chinese Navy chief Admiral Wu Shengli and his U.S. counterpart John Richardson over Beijing’s disputed territorial claims in the South China Sea. Tensions between the two superpowers elevated on Tuesday when a U.S. naval vessel sailed within the 12-mile radius line established by China around artificial islands it has constructed in the busy shipping lane. The U.S. claimed it was merely sailing through international waters.
“(I) hope the U.S. side cherishes the good situation between the Chinese and U.S. navies that has not come easily and avoids these kinds of incidents from happening again,” Wu said.
He described the patrol as a “dangerous [and] provocative” act, saying that further incidents could result in a “a seriously pressing situation between frontline forces from both sides on the sea and in the air.” http://time.com/4093997/wu-shengli-china-navy-us/
The USA has claimed that it was simply conducting a routine naval exercise and that it did nothing wrong. While the USA may not have done anything wrong by having a military naval vessel pass where it did, I do not accept that this was simply a routine exercise. The USA, in my view, was knowingly and intentionally telling China that it did not accept its territorial claim to those waters.
Now, I am not taking any sides on the territorial disputes in the South China Sea. It is my limited view that all the nations involved believe that at some point in time in history certain portions of the South China Sea were considered to be part of their territorial waters, and there is likely some truth in that.
The United Nations tribunal will look into this and likely propose something, which could be good, bad, or a bit of both.
Despite what the UN does or does not do, the Bible tells of a time when there will be a confederation of the ‘kings of the east’ that will get together (Revelation 16:12). This will include China, Korea, Japan, possibly even the Philippines. Things will one day dramatically change, militarily, in Asia, in terms of cooperation (Revelation 16:12).
The main reason to mention all of this about the South China Sea prophetically is to emphasize that the USA has been involved in a ‘pivot’ towards Asia.
The USA is concerned about China and Russia and that is part of why it has been implementing its so-called ‘Asian pivot’ strategy as advocated by former US Secretary of State, now presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton. This ‘Asian pivot’ strategy has greatly concerned the Europeans who are trying to decide how to live WITH Russia and China, while also trying to figure out how NOT to be subordinate to the USA (see http://www.courcyint.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&Itemid=6&id=65978&full=true&uid=55646&acc=1&cat_id=798851). Europe is considering how to better arm itself, and that will not end well for the USA militarily per Daniel 11:39. Europe is trying not to unduly upset China, but also seems to want China to realize that until the territorial dispute is resolved, naval vessels do have the right to proceed in what many consider international waters...
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