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The South China Sea – Signature Series


Since 1995, China has taken several steps to claim territorial control over oil-rich regions of the “South China Sea”. This specific region for all intents and purposes has been deemed international territory. In July of 2016, The Hague Arbitration ruling deemed China to have absolutely “No Legal Basis” with its claims to the region.

The South China Sea is an extremely significant international waterway that allows for trillions of dollars in trade to occur. The significance of The Hague Ruling is that it implies China’s actions may be recklessly putting fisherman and trade ships in danger.

The Philippines holds a massive stake in this cold-war style stand off between the region. The tribunal was brought against China by the Philippines, and they continue to be tested as Chinese warships push to control the territory. President Xi Jinping disregarded the tribunals decision, and immediately released a statement about China’s unwavering stance after the conclusion of the ruling.

In A CNN eyewitness showcase, a reporter flew with P-8 Poseidon crews from the United States Armed Forces. While on board, the crew received multiple warnings from Chinese military assets. In many cases, the crew were treated as violators and entering Chinese national/sovereign territory.

In addition to the island building, the Taiwanese government is asking that Google take down images of the airbases being built up in the South China Sea.

The idea of nation building and empire is nothing new, especially to China. Starting with the earliest unification of China in 221 BC by Qin Shi Huang, up until the communist takeover, Imperial Conquest has always been one aspect of this superpower.

The Qin dynasty marked the start of Imperial China. In the 21st century, China continues to find itself holding many advantages in the game of empire. The Chinese government in many cases can be seen as encouraging or supporting an industrial complex that allows for massive consumer product manufacturing. With lower working standards, corporations are able to cut costs, and the American Consumers continue to throw money.

“China will soon be home to the world’s fourth-largest population of wealthy households.”

China holds the world’s industrial factories, and produces exports to nations that in many cases depend on it to succeed. The industrial capabilities of China give it leverage to control and influence other would be dissenting nations. The USA depends on Chinese exports for practically everything, and thus is dependent on the Chinese industry. Critics will say that China also holds dependence with the USA and other world leaders as their primary consumers and customers, but regardless of the side, a co-dependence exists.

The South China Sea territorial dispute is showing a progression that is anything but unexpected. The question of Chinas expansion is no longer a question, footage and recorded disputes show the proof. New land masses are forming in the region that have wreaked havoc on local ecosystems and are being used for entirely militaristic purposes.


China’s rhetoric and stake in the region will only be tested by the will and strength of its competitors. This delicate situation is one that could easily unravel and cause international chaos. If the increased imperial expansion into international waters continues, China will find itself facing off against many of its neighbors that depend on it for trade.

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One thought on “The South China Sea – Signature Series

  1. Pingback: The World At Large – Dispatch #2 | Summit Press

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