The National Interest: Why Beijing’s South China Sea Moves Make Sense Now
By Greg Austin (People’s Daily Online) 01:42, January 01, 2016
It is about rising China national interest but I have few questions to Russia. Why Gorbachev is not hanging from one Moscow’s street lamp? He betrayed Russia working for the USA, as the US agent.
Why he left in Ukraine Russian factories and Russians? Why he left in Ukraine Russian nuclear powered heavy cruisers and aircraft carriers? Why he allowed to destroy strategic bombers Tupolev Tu-22M and Tupolev Tu-160? Where is the USSR? Where is Russian civil aviation and Russian ships of great Russian fleets?
Russia is not without guilt in slavering and destroying China in histories of both those countries.
– “ China’s military activities on its ocean frontier have given rise to a fear that it’s seeking to expand its power at the expense of others now that it has a more powerful navy. The essence of this idea is that China’s activities are expansionist and more aggressive compared with twenty or thirty years ago because it has a new urge for more territory or because it wants to throw its new-found weight around in maritime areas to rewrite regional order.
Another interpretation is possible, more in conformity with the facts, and less sinister.
China’s ocean frontier has, for the most part, never been settled in the five centuries since the idea of maritime borders under international law was first articulated in 1609.
China’s primary motivation in recent South China Sea military activities, then, is to defend what it sees as its island territories which neighboring countries have attempted to usurp.
Regional order (the balance of economic and military power between Japan and China and between the mainland and Taiwan) has already been rewritten by China’s peaceful rise and any additional gains accruing from the control of its claimed small island territories in the South China Sea would be marginal. For China, the main game on its maritime frontier is successful unification with Taiwan, which sits at the northern end of the South China Sea. Though China has come to describe the dispute in the Spratly Islands as a “core interest” because it involves sovereign territory, that is hardly new and is only a statement of the obvious. The more important characterization driving Chinese policy for decades has remained, as one Chinese government adviser observed in 1996, that the Spratly dispute is “small in scale and local in nature.”
Beginning in the mid-1800s, colonial powers such as the United Kingdom, the United States, Belgium, Italy, France, Germany, Portugal, Russia and Japan successively became involved in carving out spheres of influence or de facto sovereignty (“concessions” of some kind) over enclaves of Chinese land territory in such a way that the country, weak in naval power, didn’t place any priority on asserting or protecting a maritime frontier.
It’s regularly asserted by some scholars, media commentators and other analysts that China claims sovereignty over almost the entire South China Sea. But that is based on a misunderstanding of the so-called nine-dashed line that China has repeatedly included in maps of the South China since 1947. In December 2014, in a study of China’s potential ocean frontier in the South China Sea, the U.S. Department of State observed correctly that China has never clarified the jurisdictional intent of the U-shaped line.
Thus, the current maritime territorial disputes predate the rise of China’s power and increase in its naval capability. Any assumption that China has somehow expanded its maritime claims because it now feels more powerful is not borne out by the facts. One of many things that have changed about the disputes is China’s willingness to act robustly, as most states would, to defend pre-existing sovereignty claims that have been in place for at least 66 years.“