Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Right Ruling - Wrong Response

Seen here is the PRC's newest Type 025D Destroyer Yinchuan (DD*-175). This advanced vessel said to rival the US Navy’s Arleigh Burke-class destroyers was commissioned in the port of Sanya, Hainan Province hours after the PRC soundly rejected the Hague's International ruling against the PRC's claims in the South China Sea. The official statement reads: "With regard to the award rendered on 12 July 2016 by the International Tribunal in the South China Sea arbitration established at the unilateral request of the Republic of the Philippines…the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China solemnly declares that the award is null and void and has no binding force. China neither accepts nor recognizes it." As if things could not be more tense, Beijing further threatens the disputed region with establishing a Air defense Zone to defend its man made island bases built atop coral reefs in international waters. Clearly this is not helping de-escallate growing tensions.
While the International Court has no way to enforce the ruling dismissing China's historical claims to economic zones as it's own sovereign territory consuming 90% of the South China Seas, this does look bad for the PRC. But this has been a crisis of their own making which goes further than annexing a small land locked country as its own province based on an old map. In the end this is all about business and how far will one country will push its neighbors and the International community at large to the brink of war to gain an economic advantage over its competitors. As it stands, fishermen from Vietnam, the Philippines, and Indonesia have clashed with Chinese vessels and there has been bloodshed. 
While the Vietnamese Navy has done little to protect its fishermen, the Philippines have taken the PRC to court and won. Score one for the little guy right? Morally this stands as a victory for the sovereign rights of a small country that's been violated by a larger power but this is far from over. As Beijing plays both victim and aggressor, further rights of navigation passage flights will continue.We hope that someone in Beijing pulls back on this and cooler heads prevail. Nobody wants a war. But you wouldn't know that with the talk coming out of China. Let's hope this doesn't get further out of hand resulting in the loss of life and prosperity.

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