It seems that all the nations except China, see their island building in the South China Sea as illegal. There has been a lot of ineffective verbiage exchanged as China has turned disputed reefs into their own little fortified islands. This cannot and should not be allowed to continue. The United States and the other nations need to be more assertive and disprove theses claims as well as demonstrate against them.
As Written By Megan Eckstein for USNI:
Three South China Sea and maritime law experts advocated a tougher stance against illegal Chinese actions, calling for more freedom of navigation operations, possibly with regional allies, that are aimed at Chinese territorial claims that have not previously been challenged.
The experts from the U.S. Naval War College and the Center for Strategic and International Studies agreed at a House Armed Services seapower and projection forces subcommittee hearing yesterday that adherence to maritime law in the South China Sea is important not only for regional security but also for maintaining law of the sea elsewhere on the globe.
In addition to unanimously supporting the U.S. ratifying the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, the experts testified that U.S. Navy freedom of navigation operations (FONOPS) needed to be bolstered.
Bonnie Glaser, CSIS’s senior adviser for Asia and director of the China Power Project, said she would do more FONOPS but conduct them “quietly and without fanfare.”
James Kraska, a professor of international law, oceans law and policy at the U.S. Naval War College’s Stockton Center for the Study of International Law, recommended not only bringing in allies like Japan to the FONOPS effort but said “I would also prioritize for the FON program the many many illegal claims that have never been challenged to my knowledge, such as the straight baselines that cut off the Hainan Strait, which China purports to view as internal waters. And that challenge has never been conducted as far as I know, or at least most likely since the Vietnam War.”
Glaser said she agreed that an ally such as Australia could be an effective partner in conducting FONOPS, either patrolling areas together or splitting up and covering more area But she worried about Japan’s ….
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