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Thursday, July 23, 2020

OPINION: MORE TAIWAN AND MORE SOUTH CHINA SEA


We hit a chord with our two Taiwan posts, so, here is more....  a point was made that many are confused by the area, and do not know their geography, so here is some help;  I found three great maps showing all of the players, both now and from in the past (let us hope we do not need to worry about the future).

As we lose more and more of our WWll veterans the name places of remote Pacific islands, atolls, and countries all are becoming forgotten, those of us who revisited all of these areas during Viet Nam have had an updated tour, but most are not aware that this is the absolute center of the world.

We had Clark Airforce Base and Subic Bay Navy Yard and Cubi Point NAS in the Phillippines since 1900, all during WWll, and 'Nam (they were the largest US military bases on the planet).... we closed them both in 1991 after 90 years of operation.   spoiler alert--do not miss the next posting !






Singapore in the South, Hong Kong in the middle, and Shangai to the North, and Manila to the East are the Centuries-old map reference cities, the British established Singapore 1820-1960 and Hong Kong 1850-1997, and Shanghai is the second-largest population center on the planet,  Chonging is the largest most populous city on earth,  and Beijing is number three (all in China), Manila is the most densely populated city on earth, and one of the top ten most important global cities one earth.   When you add in nearby Tokyo, and Sydney you have 6 of the ten most important cities on earth in close proximity. (Dubai, Paris, London and New York round out the top ten).

If you look closely at the top map, you see the East China Sea, and the Phillippine Sea, and to the West of the Phillippines... the dual named "South China Sea" as the "West Phillippine Sea".

The regions, and 250+ islands all have argued over boundaries and nationality, its a mess... for Centuries the entire area has been "International Waters" with the US and British Navies generally being the masters, I was there as a SEATO observer when SEATO ran all of the sea rules (until 1977), since Y2K the tensions have risen due to fishing, mining, and militarization of the previously "neutral" area by China, who claims 1,000-year-old sovereignty, but the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) in the Hague on July 12, 2016, invalidated China’s expansive claims over the entire South China Sea.


"Generally speaking, the law of the sea stipulates that maritime countries essentially control their territorial waters from the shore out to a distance of 12 miles (19.3 km), the “12-mile limit.” Within this zone, all the laws of that country apply: the country can buildextract natural resources, and either encourage or forbid sea passage through it (or flights over it) just as if it were a parcel of land."

The Taiwan Strait is around a 100 miles wide, which frustrates any Communist Chinese claim to Taiwan, but, if the 1,000-year old Chinese claim of their 9-dash map is honored, all of that changes. see the map below:



Here is a link to the UNCLOS and ASEAN legal Complexities: (it is an ugly read)
 http://www.internationalwatersgovernance.com/south-china-sea.html,  in the middle of all we have going on here in America, most Americans could care less about the South China Sea, Taiwan, and our two aircraft carriers and 30 ships plying the waters there against China's will... but you will.

I will close this Taiwan subject out in my next posting, there is a lot more to know about !! 






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