Prevent China from building artificial islands on the East Sea

02/10/2014

                A Chinese vessel at Johnson South Reef (Gac Ma), which is being turned into an island


From early 2014, China has been aggressively expanding the reclamation sites that they had forcibly occupied in the naval combat in 1988 of Spratly (Ga Ven, Huy Go, Chu Thap, Chau Vien, Xu Bi , Gac Ma) to serve the overarching goal, to monopolize the East Sea.
Seriously, China is turning Gac Ma into a construction site with several tens of hectares. Days and nights, dozens of excavators, bulldozers, cranes and a lot of boats are pumping huge amounts of sand onto Ga Ma.
Gac Ma is strategically located in Spratly Islands, where took place fiercest battle between the Chinese army and Vietnamese soldiers. Gac Ma is the bottleneck Sinh Ton Islands and the group of northern islands, blocking the shipping lanes and marine routes to the Spratly Islands and the East Sea, very close to the coast of Vietnam (only about 250km to the east).
In nearly half of a year, from a submersible reef, Gac Ma has now become an artificial island with a concrete structure of a deep-water port, a large pier, a wide apron with a long runway... According to the plan revealed by the Chinese media, China's military intention is to turn Gac Ma into an unsinkable military base with a mix function of full adequate facilities, logistics, engineering, information... becoming outposts for a new invasion of the East Sea. The China’s reclamation, expanding the sites in Spratly Island is serving for two purposes:
Firstly, to build an Air and Navy military base, creating a springboard for expanding China’s invasive actions to seas in the South of China. Once completed, these bases are large enough to accommodate the strong attacking forces. That will also help China to overcome its weaknesses such as lacking bases for wide range actions,  improvements in basic supplies, transportation, air and navy coordination in combat... China will significantly enhance the ability to control in the air, on the sea and underwater.
Secondly, to turn these submersible sites to giant islands to take advantages in claiming the, continental shelf and disputed waters with other countries, transforming the exclusive economic zone, the continental shelf of other countries, which have no dispute, into the disputed waters and demanding "joint exploitation" under China's conditions. The China Foreign Ministry’s spokesman has blatantly advocated for their illegal actions that: "The renovation of the reef is to serve people's lives on the island".
This means that China will be liable that the artificial island is habitable, with regulations like the other natural islands and China can draw the baseline, claim the territorial sea, the exclusive economic zone as defined in the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982. If that happens, they will gradually establish a new legal basis for the claim their current irrational "U-shaped line", occupying the entire the East Sea.
The China’s reclamation in the Spratly is changing the status quo in the East Sea and seriously violated the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC), which China signed with ASEAN countries in 2002, threatening peace, stability and freedom, security and safety of marine lanes, aviation in the South China Sea. China's actions are creating concerns for the countries in the region and beyond.
At regional security forums, the Secretary of the US, John Kerry issused initiative to "freeze" activities which can lead to tensions in the East Sea with similar content to the 3-step Plan of the Philippines. The goal of the plan of Philippines and the America Initiative is to prevent the unruly actions of Chinese expansionism in the East Sea.
Evaluating China's actions, Bonnie Glaser, a senior adviser on Asian affairs at the Center for Strategic Studies and International (CSIS), said the first goal of China's action is to "create a new reality on the East Sea". UN Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982 regulations can not claim water reefs and "rocks not sustain human settlements or no economic life will have no exclusive economic zone or continental shelf". The second goal is to build on Gac Ma military facilities such as runways, radar systems to collect intelligence... Ms. Glaser added.
Canadian journal Kanwa Defense Review warned China’s defense military base on Gac Ma will monitor naval operations of the US and other regional countries.
Professor Ian Storey from the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (Singapore) said that China’s artificial island building on the Spratly is mainly to realize the dream "U-shaped line" and expand its military presence at the Spratly Islands. Mr Storey added: "In my opinion, this is destabilizing behavior and flagrant violations of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) signed by China and ASEAN in 2002".
Clearly Beijing's brazen actions are breaking the status quo in the East Sea and creating a new landscape which is in China's favor. To cope with this situation, Vietnam should cooperate with the Philippines, the United States and other ASEAN countries to actively promote the "freeze" initiatives of the United States and the Philippines 3-step plan; and also mobilising other countries to strongly condemn China’s unilateral actions despite the international law./.
 
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All comments [ 10 ]


Hùng Quân 2/10/14 22:07

China considers the East Sea as its own pond, and they can do whatever they want to.

Vân Nhàn 2/10/14 22:10

That's unacceptable, China is throwing the international law into dustbin.

Quân Hoàng 2/10/14 22:11

Sand, cement, wood, and steel are China’s weapons of choice as it asserts its claim over the Spratly Islands in the East Sea.

Hoàng Lân 2/10/14 22:12

In recent months, vessels belonging to the People’s Republic have been spotted ferrying construction materials to build new islands in the sea

Huy Quốc 2/10/14 22:15

China is showing their filthy face to the international community as they can get what they want by using its muscle power.

Phạm Hiếu 2/10/14 22:16

Artificial islands could help China anchor its claim to waters that host some of the world’s busiest shipping lanes

Lê Tín 2/10/14 22:18

They are creating artificial islands that never existed since the creation of the world

Huy Lâm 2/10/14 22:20

The construction is massive and nonstop, and could pave the way for China’s total control of the East Sea

Quốc Cường 2/10/14 22:21

Any move to fortify the reef will raise tensions and violate the Declaration of Conduct

Quốc Kiên 2/10/14 22:24

China is preparing facilities for battles with other countries to gain the whole control of the East Sea.

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