June 14th, 2011
08:54 AM ET

Rivals push to rename the South China Sea

By Kathleen E. McLaughlin, Global Post

BEIJING, China — Amid the escalating dispute over territorial waters in the South China Sea, China’s rivals are toying with a simple idea: change the name of the sea.

A petition drive from Vietnam to change the South China Sea’s name to the Southeast Asia Sea is gaining followers. Meanwhile, the Philippines has another proposal.

“When people keep referring to the South China Sea, there is a subliminal message that this sea belongs to a country whose name appears in the name,” Commodore Miguel Jose Rodriguez, Armed Forces spokesman, said recently, according to the Philippines Inquirer. “We in the Philippines should call it West Philippine Sea.”

It seems a growing number of supporters believe names mean much when it comes to territory. The potentially oil, gas and mineral-rich Spratly and Paracel Islands — the heart of the territorial dispute between China and its South Sea neighbors — have long been known to China as the Nansha and Xisha Islands (with still different names in Vietnam).

Yet the name issue only skims the surface of serious tension over the past few weeks between China and its neighbors, and potentially, the United States. On Monday, Vietnam, chafed by what it called aggressive interference by Chinese boats in its waters, held nine hours of live-fire drills in the area. China accused Vietnam of interfering with its sovereignty and denied instigating an attack.

Vietnam has erupted in unusual citizen protests over China’s actions. Meanwhile, a Filipino politician is calling for a nationwide boycott of Chinese-made goods to respond to China’s “bullying.”

Six countries have disputed claims to water and island territories in the South China Sea, but China claims far more than any other and now appears to be working to solidify an expanded reach. Experts say its latest spats with Vietnam and the Philippines are a further indication of China’s increasingly aggressive stance in regional and world affairs. The question now is how to calm the situation, a point where the United States is likely to be involved.

For its part, China seems to be blaming the conflict on its neighbors. In a recent editorial, the state-run China Daily newspaper said as much. Yet at the same time, China is offering conflicting messages with a charm campaign in the region meant to quell fears over its potential aggression.

“Given its adherence to developing good-neighborly relations with Asian nations, China is unwilling to have trouble with its neighbors over maritime territorial disputes,” the paper wrote. “To our regret, China's goodwill and tolerance seem to have played on deaf ears recently. The Philippines and Vietnam have both chosen to provoke China over this issue again.”

Read: A reported blog on Asia.

Since both foreign women and female citizens are banned from driving in Saudi Arabia, perhaps GP's reporter in Riyadh,...

Last week's winner requests a first-hand account on coping with Saudi Arabia's ban on women drivers. Caryle Murphy will have it ready by mid-June.

But the spat is beyond regional. Vietnam wants international support, while China on Tuesday demanded that other countries (more precisely, the United States) mind their own business. A Foreign Ministry spokesman said China’s position on the sea had been “clear and consistent.”

"We hope countries not related to the disputes over the South China Sea will respect the efforts of directly related countries to resolve the issue through direct negotiations," said spokesman Hong Lei.

Read: A leading expert describes Pakistan's nuclear risks.

Yan Xuetong, director of international studies at Qinghua University, said in an interview that U.S.-China relations will only be affected if the United States becomes provocative on the issue. A visit to China by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton later this month will be important in part because of the South China Sea issue.

“I don’t think America will get too involved in this event at the moment,” Yan said.

Li Jiming, a South China Sea expert at Xiamen University, agreed.

“We should sit down and bilateral negotiations should be held, neighboring countries should keep peace in mind. No side will benefit if the situation get more tense,” said Li. “Multilateral negotiation can only make the situation more complicated. There is not much America could do.”

Read: Can the Communist Party censor Ai Weiwei?

Meanwhile, some analysts are predicting further conflict amid what appear to be mixed messages from China. In an essay published in The Diplomat on Sunday, Minxin Pei, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, described the conflict as“dangerously close to escalating.”

“… [A]t this stage, an ugly and potentially dangerous clash with Vietnam is the last thing China wants,” he wrote. “But at the same time, Beijing also needs to show that it won’t compromise on territorial disputes.

The views expressed in this article are solely those of Kathleen E. McLaughlin. Read more at the international news site GlobalPost.

Post by:
Topics: China • Diplomacy • East Asia

soundoff (122 Responses)
  1. TTH

    China has no rights to the Spratly and Paracel Islands. Their claims are the weakest among the parties that are involved. They use the same argument to claim that Viet Nam and Mongolia are parts of China. The lands that they occupied resulted from bullying and naval attacks on their neighbors. Southeast Asia will stand together against China's aggression.

    June 14, 2011 at 10:31 am | Reply
    • Peter

      China has historic evidences ranging from 1000 years of historic books, maps, artifiacts of their own to early 20th century maps from other countries such as USA, Engiland, Vietnam (yes Vietnam), Japan to prove it. There are also several international records of Vietnamese leader, Philippine leaders in the 50's that affirm China's historic right to these islands as well. Also both Vietnam and Republic of China in Taiwan also claim all the islands, not just PRC China. Get your fact straight people first

      Brunei, Indonesia, and Malaysia have no problems with China over the islands because they don't provoke China as often as the other two. In that area, all sides often detain other's ships, arrest fishermen, confiscate materials, etc.. Last year, Phillippine arrested over 200 Vietnamese fishermen around the disputed islands.

      Only reason Vietnam is making a fuss now is because of political benefit, internal to redirect inquires to its hyper inflated economy, to external to USA and others to counter against possible Chinese aircraft carrier becoming operational.

      June 14, 2011 at 2:11 pm | Reply
      • HackYourAss

        Chinese documents are FAKE! Their documents have been cut and pasted to support their greedy ambitions. IF you don't believe me, look at their so so famous character such as Fake melamine milk which kills children, Fake Toys wtih LEAD that kills children, Fake Egg, Fake Rice, Fake Wine, etc... The list goes on.

        If you don't believe me, you will see all the chinese spies which ate Bun filled with cardboard for breakfast cyber snooping. Don't mess with NAM!

        June 14, 2011 at 3:53 pm |
      • alan

        prove it

        June 15, 2011 at 6:26 pm |
      • PeaceMessi

        If you think that China has all evidences, then prove it, bring all "evidences" to international courts, and solve disputes in peace and in the civilized manner. Why China does not go for that. Just because their "evidences" are fake and the weakest among all other claimants in the region. Please do not claim that Tibet, Southeast Asia Sea belonged to China for a thousand years. It is just ridiculous and nobody believes it (except the Chinese people who are brainwashed by their own government).

        June 16, 2011 at 4:58 am |
      • hoangminh

        Funny that when China wants some areas, they try to rename it on public online maps ( where everyone can come and change whatever they want ) , brings out some " truly documents" about their sovereignty ( of course it never ever be verified) and then shout to the World as if no one realizes their nasty behaviours.

        June 16, 2011 at 12:32 pm |
      • Karlo

        The Philippines does not provoke China, it is the other way around. They harassed Philippine vessels in the disputed areas. Get your facts straight Peter. You are trying to be smart but ends up looking stupid.

        June 19, 2011 at 12:58 am |
      • noypi ako

        @peter: do you understand UNCLOS?... UNITED NATIONS CONVENTION ON THE LAW OF THE SEA.... a law which states that every state has an extension of 200nautical mile exclusive economic zone from its shoreline/baseline.
        how come u can say that china owns the spratly islands in the PHILIPPINES?.. china has a distance of 576nautical miles to the spratly, philippines.
        China is only using its power in claiming those islands... if china is a law abiding nation, then she should not claim those islands.
        just a favor peter, please if you are a true citizen of the world, tell your chinese comrades to refrain from occupying those isalnds which is not within the teritorial limits of 200nautical miles...

        June 27, 2011 at 7:02 am |
      • gab

        historical evidence is baseless it is still the proximity that counts..china is far far way from that disputed islands..they denied the invitation of the Philippines to transmit the case in the international court because they know they don't have enough evidence on their claims..

        April 24, 2012 at 12:20 am |
    • Robert Nguyen

      It's time that all South East Asians stand up, unite and resist Chinese naked aggression. This bullying behaviors should not be tolerated by all freedom loving, and civilized people of the World.
      The body of the Sea is appropriately named South East Asian Sea to honor all neighboring countries around the sea. South China was a colonial name and does not reflect true identity of the region.
      We should all now at least boycott all Chinese goods, and help China gains its rationale consciousness – – – and should it continue with its belligerent behaviors; we will need a stronger measures...

      June 16, 2011 at 12:24 am | Reply
      • Philippines, USA 1940

        Stop buying products made in china.

        June 18, 2011 at 10:51 am |
    • Robert Nguyen

      Key issue to resolve for World peace is for Communist China to be broken up into 5 different nations in addition to the independent Taiwan nation. Most of my Chinese friends are fighting hard for their freedom against the communist police regime in China.
      It's time we all focus on supporting all freedom loving Chinese gaining their liberty.

      June 16, 2011 at 12:33 am | Reply
    • Robert Nguyen

      For thousands of years Truong Sa and Hoang Sa (internationally known as Paracel and Spratly Islands) were populated and administered by Vietnamese. During the Vietnam war in 1970, the Chinese took advantage of the war situation and invaded these islands. The Republican of Vietnam fought a heroic battle with what they had then – – – but I can assure you this time the Chinese are too big to be missed now...

      June 16, 2011 at 12:43 am | Reply

      All We know that the explaination of Chinese can not accept, If they said The Paracel and Pratly islands belong to them then what will happen to the world when the ship go this area. I REJECT CHINA and SUPPORT FOR FREEDOOM IN THAT SEA. WE SHOULD CHANGE THE NAME " SOUTH CHINA SEA INTO SOUTHEAST ASIAN SEA". CHINA SHOULD RESPECT THE INTERNATIONAL SEA LAW

      June 18, 2011 at 9:46 am | Reply
    • Franz Calvin

      I will suggest you to study the following publications before raising your opinion:
      The British Navy Mapping Agency published the "China Sea Kingdoms" published in 1921,
      The France's "colonial world" published in 1933,
      The U.S. "Columbia Lippincott Gazetteer of the World" published in 1961,
      The U.S."Wilder Mike countries Encyclopedia" published in 1963,
      The French "Larousse international map" published in 1965,
      The "New China Yearbook" published in Japan in 1966,
      The Japanese "World Almanac" published in 1972 .

      All these published maps, publications by former colonial countries in South China Sea are clearly marked on the South China Sea islands, including the Paracel Islands, Spratly Islands are among the Chinese territory. This fact is also marked on the published maps of the former Soviet Union, West Germany, East Germany, Romania.

      I'm so regret that there is no righteous and ethics in this modern new world. Surprisingly even the US government, being the most democratic country with justice as their primary value, do not respect this international facts and act only with a beautiful excuse "for the US interests". Invasion can be happened because of pursuing interests for a particular country, such as Nazi Hitler in WWII.

      Definitely China are not managed well in respect to human rights and corruption, and still need to improve, but that's a shame for the US government to totally ignore the basic norms of ethics in terms of political and economic ethics. Its is the true value for a country of freedom or it has already deviated from this important element. And why the US and European news agency are suddenly quiet in this course. Please think!

      June 20, 2011 at 11:34 pm | Reply
      • hoangminh

        Your suggestion maps are irrelevant with sovereignty. Region's truly ownership is based on GLOBAL TREATY has been confirmed by involved country ( The UNCLOS in this situation) .Beside , about things you've mentioned, do u know the map creators work separately with government ? Maps never be concerned in a negotiation cause it's the weakest among all evidences that can prove sovereignty. So please think very carefully

        June 22, 2011 at 2:02 am |
      • noypi ako

        @franz calvin: forget those alamanacs, go to UNCLOS. do u understand?....
        send me questions if ur in doubt and i will give u my best answer. if and only you dont know. but i think u dont exactly know coz u r speaking a thing out of context.... maybe ur a communist puppet.

        June 27, 2011 at 7:08 am |
      • BGD

        VN have much older maps than maps you talked.

        July 3, 2011 at 6:10 pm |
    • vokoyo

      China boundary settlements with other countries

      Western and Indian analysts and journalists frequently accuse China of having a new-found self-confidence, call on Obama to "burst Beijing's bubble", call its statements "harangue" and its behaviour "hubris", and accuse it of possessing an increased "assertiveness" (Almost everyone!).

      Even a 2005 Pentagon report on Chinese military power expressed concern that “conflicts to enforce China territorial claims could erupt in the future with wide regional repercussions."

      J. Mohan Malik, an expert in Asian Geopolitics and Proliferation, proclaims, "Having wrested substantial territorial concessions from Russia, Vietnam, and Tajikistan in their land border disputes with China, Beijing is now expecting the same from India."

      Although a thorough analysis of China border disputes merits a separate blog post, only a summary is sufficient here to put things in perspective.

      China has had land border disputes with every country which it bordered. However, it has resolved 12 out of the 14 disputes quite remarkably, giving remarkable concessions in each of them.

      In its border negotiations with different countries, China has pursued compromise and offered concessions in most of these conflicts. China compromises have often been substantial, as it has usually offered to accept less than half of the contested territory in any final settlement. It has also not reiterated its claims on a majority of the territory which was seized from it by the so-called unequal treaties.

      According to M.Taylor.Fravel, a premier expert on China border disputes,

      "Contrary to scholars of offensive realism, ......China has rarely exploited its military superiority to bargain hard for the territory that it claims or to seize it through force. China has likewise not become increasingly assertive in its territorial disputes as its relative power has grown in the past two decades. Contrary to others who emphasize the violent effects of nationalism, which would suggest inflexibility in conflicts over national sovereignty, China has been quite willing to offer territorial concessions despite historical legacies of external victimization and territorial dismemberment under the Qing."

      ".....China has not issued demands for large tracts of territory that were part of the Qing dynasty......"

      "China only contested roughly 7 percent of the territory that was part of the Qing dynasty at its height"
      In the adjoining map, the grey area was part of the Qing dynasty during 1820, claims that China did not pursue.

      China land border negotiations with neighbouring countries offer a startling revelation. Portions of the total disputed territories that China received as part of its boundary negotiations with 12 of its 14 neighbours are as follows:

      Afghanistan – 0%
      Tajikistan – 4%
      Nepal – 6%
      Burma – 18%
      Kazakhstan – 22%
      Mongolia – 29%
      Kyrgyzstan – 32%
      North Korea – 40%
      Laos – 50%
      Vietnam – 50%
      Russia – 50%
      Pakistan – 54%

      Pakistan was a special case in which China received 60% of the disputed land but transferred 1942 square kilometers of separate land to Pakistan. In Tajikistan’s case, the figure refers to the 28000 sq.km of the disputed Pamir mountain range, other sectors were divided evenly. In the case of Vietnam, in addition to this settlement, China transferred, apparently without any strings attached, the White Dragon Tail Island to (North) Vietnam in 1957.

      According to Fravel, "Analysis of China dispute behavior bears directly on the future of peace and stability in East Asia. Behavior in territorial disputes is a fundamental indicator of whether a state is pursuing status quo or revisionist foreign policies, an issue of increasing importance in light of China rising power."

      October 5, 2011 at 1:22 am | Reply
  2. JKT

    I really expected more from Malaysia and Indonesia. They are standing on the edge of becoming booming high tech, wealthy nations and it appears they will just let anyone take anything in the end after all.

    June 14, 2011 at 11:05 am | Reply
    • j. von hettlingen

      Imagine, what Asia will look like in the near future. Countries will be competing against each other economically and politically. What's alarming is that Asians will become more racist as a result of self-assertiveness and nationalism. There will be more tensions and conflicts ahead of the countries there.

      June 14, 2011 at 6:07 pm | Reply
      • TBN

        Through this conflict, Southeast Asian nations are now really exposed to civilization. As a result, they will learn and become less racist and more helpful to the world. Think this way: They are an undiscovered mine whereas developed countries were already discovered.

        June 15, 2011 at 3:37 am |
      • Karlo

        Man you don't just sound stupid and racist, your name invokes racism. Asians are not racist. What are you talking about Asians becoming "more" racist?

        June 19, 2011 at 1:07 am |
      • noypi ako

        whom do u think are supporting the abu sayyaf in mindanao?... my frend please research about it... filipinos are loving and frendly but why the neighbours are undermining the philippine peace and order?... now philippines is standing on its two feet with the help of uncle sam... what if uncle sam died?....

        June 27, 2011 at 7:24 am |
  3. China Lee

    Vietnamese and Filipinos should stop encroaching on thousand-year-old Chinese territory in the South China Sea.

    Source: Wikipedia article on Paracel Islands

    "The coast belonged to the Kingdom of Cauchi China."


    * There are some Chinese cultural relics in the Paracel islands dating from the Tang and Song dynasty eras[12][note 1], and there is some evidence of Chinese habitation on the islands in these periods.[13]."

    June 14, 2011 at 4:57 pm | Reply
    • TBN

      "The coast belonged to the Kingdom of Cauchi China."
      Kingdom of Cauchi China is part of present-day Central of Vietnam, my friend.

      June 15, 2011 at 3:14 am | Reply
      • Jobs

        You're right!!

        June 15, 2011 at 9:43 am |
      • TBN

        The above is a good example of the importance of name, especially, the name of the sea surrounded by Southeast Asian nations. Most Chinese people, including Chinese Communists scholars, think that, because they have been taught that way, a name of something that contains the word "China" should belong to China at some point in its history, then they start creating and editing history to prove its ownership.
        Cauchi China, IndoChina, and Cochin China all have nothing to do with China.

        June 15, 2011 at 3:24 pm |
    • TBN

      The fact is that, please do not get upset, China has nothing to do with the sea. Don't trust Chinese Communists "scholars", they are liars and you know that deep down in your heart, so please conduct a research by yourself and you will find the truth.

      June 15, 2011 at 3:27 am | Reply
      • China Lee

        Vietnamese government admits China owns South China Sea.

        In their civil war, North Vietnam (i.e. Democratic Republic of Vietnam or DRV) conquered South Vietnam and became the government of an unified Vietnam. Let's hear it directly from the DRV's mouth with regards to Chinese sovereignty over the Paracel Islands.

        "Truong Nhan Tuan: Based on a number of documents from Peking, on 15/6/1956 the Vice Foreign Minister of the DRV Ung Van Khiem, at the time of hosting a visit from the Chinese temporary ambassador in Vietnam, spoke the following: “According to documents that Vietnam has presently, historically speaking, Tay Sa and Nam Sa islands belong to China.”

        Nguyen An: Tay Sa and Nam Sa means the Paracel and Spratly islands?

        Truong Nhan Tuan: Yes, the Paracel and Spratly islands....China also presents other evidence, such as the incident of Le Loc (Temporary Head of the Asian Mission) also present at that time adding that: “From a historical perspective, the archipelagos of Xi Sa and Nan Sa (Tay Sa and Nam Sa) belonged to China since the T’ang dynasty.

        Nguyen An: Le Loc is a person of China or of the DRV?

        Truong Nhan Tuan: An official of the DRV."
        "Nguyen An: Are there other evidence from the DRV presented by China regarding sovereignty?

        Truong Nhan Tuan: Yes. The famous one is the diplomatic note of Pham Van Dong, written on 14/9/1958 which admits the territorial waters declared by China a few days before. The Chinese declaration was that the archipelagos of Hoang Sa, Nam Sa, and Truong Sa belonged to China.

        Nguyen An: So it was an admittance of Chinese sovereignty over these islands?

        Truong Nhan Tuan: In reality, there is nothing in the content of the letter that explicitly states admittance of Chinese sovereignty over the Paracel and Spratly islands becaue the letter only states that Vietnam “make notes and admits the declaration of China regarding territorial waters of China” but does not mention about sovereignty over the Paracel and Spratly archipelagos.

        What makes the justification somewhat weak is because during the war, when the Chinese navy invaded the Paracel islands in 1974, there was no objection from the DRV. This silence becomes a weighty piece of evidence for China to claim that Vietnam had admmitted Chinese sovereignty over the Paracel and Spratly archipelagos already.

        Nguyen An: Based on what you just presented, is this the reason why Qin Gang (Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson) commented that Vietnam’s position regarding sovereignty over the Paracel and Spratly archipelagos changed over different periods of time?

        Truong Nhan Tuan: This is correct. But the legal significance is not simple. Declarations made by officials in North Vietnam at that time may be a reality. The fact that Peking presents them without protestations or justifications from Hanoi tells us that it is probably true."

        [Source: Vietnamese historian's research into Paracel Islands]

        June 15, 2011 at 6:11 am |
    • bob

      The Paracels islands belong to Vietnam and during the Vietnamese civil war, in 1974, china attacked South Vietnamese forces and steal these islands. If they were ever, ever held by china how the heck do you think Vietnamese get possession of it? This is the main reason china doesn't want to internationalize this issue; every country in the world know they belong to Vietnam and Vietnam has possession until china attack and steal them. They acted like looters really. While one country is in a civil ware they came in and loot the islands.

      June 15, 2011 at 11:18 am | Reply
    • TBN

      * There are some Chinese cultural relics in the Paracel islands dating from the Tang and Song dynasty eras[12][note 1], and there is some evidence of Chinese habitation on the islands in these periods.[13]."

      At the present time, it's very common that Chinese people who live in China carry US-dollar bills in their wallet. A thousand years from now, US-dollar bills would be found when digging up tombs in a Peking's cemetery, then what a historian or a scholar of that time would conclude: China belongs to the US?

      June 15, 2011 at 3:08 pm | Reply
      • hoangminh

        Good point!

        June 17, 2011 at 2:49 pm |
    • Robert Nguyen

      What you called Chinese cultural relics were actually Vietnamese.

      June 16, 2011 at 12:47 am | Reply
    • shortlong

      Just so you know, Wikipedia is NOT a reliable source. Please base your arguments on hard facts and not some bullshit story that was submitted to your "source" by a random person.

      June 18, 2011 at 9:44 am | Reply
    • Philippines, USA 1940

      Wikipedia? Really? I bet you also read tabloid. I'm Chinese but that islands really close to Vietnam, Philippines and Malaysia. So stop reading those nonsense sources of yours. Thanks

      June 18, 2011 at 10:57 am | Reply
    • Karlo

      China Lee, you claim all these articles as evidence of Chinese sovereignty over these islands. If these articles are your only evidence then you are crazy to assume that the Chinese own these islands. You have got to come up with a better evidence, better that "Wikipedia." China should have gone to the International Community and presented these "evidence" but they did not....for very good reason, those evidence are so weak and baseless. Your babbling does not prove anything except your ignorance.

      June 19, 2011 at 1:16 am | Reply
    • noypi ako

      the best word for this is.... u chinese fled from ur own land (red china) because u r afraid to die under the communist rule that's why chinese scattered all over the world to seek peace and enjoy life.
      there's no peace in a government run by a communist...
      u better check urself baby.... china has lots of problems internally...

      June 27, 2011 at 7:31 am | Reply
    • coolooc

      Vietnam and Philippines are very low class shamelessly morons

      Why argue? The more you talk, the more rubbish come out

      They are groups of useless monkeys with pig brains – love to show off over here for all to see

      October 6, 2011 at 10:08 pm | Reply
      • gab

        you chinese are idiots..try to put this in the heads of your co-idiot chinese the world has seen you done bad things and they will stand to end up your country's baseless claims..

        April 24, 2012 at 12:41 am |
      • gab

        if the filipinos and vietnamese are morons, chinese are imbecel with an iq of below 25..they don't even know how to read a map..

        April 24, 2012 at 12:42 am |
  4. China Lee

    Vietnam Premier Pham Van Dong admits Chinese sovereignty over South China Sea territory.

    The ownership of the Spratly Islands and Paracel Islands is a settled issue. Vietnam’s Premier Pham Van Dong had agreed in a diplomatic document on September 14, 1958 that China owns the South China Sea islands and territory.

    [Source: Vietnamese historian's research into Paracel Islands]

    "Truong Nhan Tuan: Yes. The famous one is the diplomatic note of Pham Van Dong, written on 14/9/1958 which admits the territorial waters declared by China a few days before. The Chinese declaration was that the archipelagos of Hoang Sa [Paracel Islands], Nam Sa, and Truong Sa [Spratly Islands] belonged to China."

    [Source: Biography of Vietnam Premier Pham Van Dong]

    "Born March 1, 1906
    Quang Ngai province, Vietnam

    Premier of North Vietnam, 1955–75, and of the reunited Socialist Republic of Vietnam, 1975–86

    Pham Van Dong served as the premier of North Vietnam both before and during the Vietnam War. He was recognized as one of three most powerful leaders of North Vietnam during these years, along with Ho Chi Minh (see entry) and General Vo Nguyen Giap (see entry). In fact, these three men were sometimes referred to as the "iron triangle."

    June 14, 2011 at 5:05 pm | Reply
    • TBN

      Read the Geneva Accord 1954, my friend.

      June 15, 2011 at 3:56 am | Reply
    • bob

      The islands were held by South Vietnamese forces, not the North. It's like saying "yes you can have his property". Understand???

      June 15, 2011 at 11:23 am | Reply
    • Robert Nguyen

      If the islands were truly Chinese – why would a big country like China needs a little country's prime minister during wartime to recognize for China that these island were Chinese? (sic)
      These islands were rightfully governed by the Republic of Vietnam (South VN) at the time of Pham van Dong being PM of the Commie North Vietnam which a satellite of China at that time.

      June 16, 2011 at 1:06 am | Reply
    • Vietnam Loo

      To everyone who reads China Lee's comments: Let's not follow the diversion to disputed Spratly and/or Paracel islands. The criminal fact at hand has been that China claims most south China sea, arbitrarily ( against protests from all nations who share this sea) and attacked Vietnam deep inside the internationally recognized 200 nautical miles EEZ. Even if China can prove ownership of these disputed islands ( big IF), what are their legal, ethical and logical justifications for recent incidents? Furthermore, underneath Hanoi you can find Chinese bones as the result of their many invasions of Vietnam. Does it make Hanoi Chinese territory?

      June 17, 2011 at 11:21 am | Reply
      • China Lee

        "Article 15 of the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea stipulates that the delineation rule for overlapping territorial sea claims does not apply to areas of historical title." [Luke's post]

        From UN website on Article 15: "The above provision does not apply, however, where it is necessary by reason of historic title or other special circumstances to delimit the territorial seas of the two States in a way which is at variance therewith."

        June 18, 2011 at 8:06 am |
      • China Lee

        China has an 1,400-year-old historical title to the Paracel and Spratly Islands from 618 A.D. China's historical title to the South China Sea islands trumps the 1982 U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea as clearly written in Article 15.

        June 18, 2011 at 8:07 am |
      • gab

        a claim does not always base on history try to put it in your head idiot chinese..

        April 24, 2012 at 12:36 am |
    • BGD

      Pham Van Dong is just a person. VN has millions of people. Did Vietnamese congress pass that bill? Hell No !

      July 3, 2011 at 6:24 pm | Reply
  5. Thatsnotrue:[

    China's not the only one fighting over the waters....tht's all I can say on it......although renaming it......China's been there 5000 years, the other countries don't have as much of a historical claim.

    June 14, 2011 at 5:13 pm | Reply
    • TBN

      This is not language of a citizen of the greatest country on earth.

      June 15, 2011 at 3:54 am | Reply
      • Thatsnotrue:[

        Huh, you're talking about America??? The greatness you talk about went down the drain when the wars started piling up ten years ago, and the debt kept on raising, in your dreams maybe. Canada, where I am IS WAY BETTER, except the government likes the US system too much......

        June 15, 2011 at 2:58 pm |
    • Robert Nguyen

      5000 thousands years of stupidity is still stupidity.
      How do we bring you to the 21st century with the rest of us???

      June 16, 2011 at 1:08 am | Reply
      • Thatsnotrue:[

        Yeah.....people like you are the reasons America's dumbing down. You have no idea what you're talking about first of all.....and if you generalize history = stupidity......then no wonder over half the kids in American schools can't get their history right. LEARN ABOUT IT FIRST BEFORE MAKING SUCH AN IGNORANT DUMB COMMENT PLEASE, I think America could use some smart people....who been out of their country and are PROPERLY educated to counter their financial crisis......not sheep like you. Open a REAL text book, AND LEARN SOMETHING.
        BTW That insult would be directed at over 2 billion people, China & India......doesn't that make you a racist?

        June 16, 2011 at 3:54 pm |
  6. China Lee

    The international community supported Britain's war against Argentina over the Falkland Islands due to Britain's claim of first historical discovery. While the Falkland Islands are halfway around the world and next to Argentina's coastline, the world recognizes it as British because Britain discovered it first.

    Similarly, China discovered the Paracel Islands 1,400 years ago. The Paracel Islands, Spratly Islands, and other South China Sea islands have been indisputably Chinese for over a thousand years.

    June 14, 2011 at 5:21 pm | Reply
    • Voice of Freedom

      What is this? Finders keepers? Such ignorance! The Falklands and even Gibraltar are different situations to the one involving the Paracel and Spratly Islands. The Falklands were inhabited by the British when the then-militarist Argentinians invaded. Further, the people of these islands ACTUALLY VOTED to be part of British rule during a plebiscite, thus backing up British claims exponentially. The same thing happened with Gibraltar despite the fact that the island is right next to Spain.

      If the Chinese had substantial populations living in these islands then their claims can be solidified through a UN-supervised plebiscite. Unfortunately, their claims are based purely on their history, which is largely subjective to say the least. Take a look at the territorial dispute between the Philippines and Malaysia over the territory called Sabah. Sabah is historically owned by the Philippines through one of the Sultanates in their southern regions. The British annexed the territory for Malaysia during the latter's independence. The dispute never led to actual conflict as it had been resolved through a plebiscite. Majority of the residents of Sabah voted to be part of Malaysia and the rest is history. The Philippines had legal documents and history on its side but the people of Sabah have spoken. Nevertheless, both countries have resolved long-standing issues and are amicable members of ASEAN.

      My point is this: you can't compare the Paracel and Spratly situations to the Falklands. These islands barely have Chinese civilians and are geographically distant from the mainland. What solid claim can it have left? History? Are you kidding? All the claimants, with the exception of China, have valid claims based on the UNCLOS, agreements on baselines, as well as international measures determining exclusive economic zones. China only has history on its side, which is a ludicrous basis in this day and age. For example, what if there were Indonesian pottery in Hainan island and there was a document stating that the ancient Javanese empire occupied that territory, does that give Indonesia a concrete claim to regain the island? NO! Look at your facts objectively, read up on true world history, study international law, and you will see that China has the least legitimate claim on these islands.

      The Chinese should stop being a bully and leave Southeast Asia for Southeast Asians. I do agree that this body of water should be renamed the Southeast Asian Sea.

      June 14, 2011 at 10:00 pm | Reply
      • China Lee

        All of the items you mentioned are irrelevant to sovereignty. In the absence of inhabitants or voters, Britain would still claim sovereignty over the Falkland Islands. For example, Greece has sovereignty over thousands of Greek Islands that are uninhabited. Sovereignty is based on first-discovery and/or a long period of unchallenged dominion.

        In the case of the South China Sea islands, there is no question that China was the first country to discover the Paracel Islands 1,400 years ago. Furthermore, as written in the histories of the Tang, Song, and countless other dynasties, China demonstrated over 1,000 years of unchallenged dominion over the South China Sea islands.

        June 15, 2011 at 5:59 am |
      • Robert Nguyen

        We have the Law of the Sea and this newly emerging bully called China totally disregards all civilian behaviors. It claims the name of the sea is South China, so everything in the area is Chinese and self declared that the region its core interests, including traffic on the sea – – – a way to tell the US and everyone to move out of the way...
        So first thing first – let's calmly change the name to reflect the true identity of the region, and then should China needs a civic lesson, the US is always itching...

        June 16, 2011 at 12:56 am |
      • Philippines, USA 1940

        OMG! I have a lot of Chinese made products at my home. Is that mean my home belongs to china years from now? I live in California. LOL

        June 18, 2011 at 11:26 am |
      • noypi ako

        Voice of Freedom, you made an undisputed remarks as the spratlys is undisputable for Philippines. Very well said my frend...
        china lee go and fuck your ass... ur an asshole...

        June 27, 2011 at 7:49 am |
      • China Man

        Robert Nguyen – you are actually Chinese – you moron and Root-less animal. Your family name came from the Chinese. Your ancestors are Chinese. So every time you making a curse on the Chinese you are actually making intercourse with your own mouth using your own foot or manhood.

        September 5, 2011 at 12:43 am |
    • bob

      Chinese people were taught the word indisputable well. When you have no legitimate reason to take something you take that word of from your little red book and wave it around.

      June 15, 2011 at 11:37 am | Reply
    • PeaceMessi

      Come on, man. In all international workshops organized recently on the Southeast Asia Sea issues, you can not find any scholar (except Chinese ones) who thinks that Chinese claims are legitimate. In all genuine ancient Chinese maps (pls do not mention the fake ones that China just has used since XX century) China's southernmost point is Hainan island. There is no Paracel, no Spratlys island on those genuine ancient Chinese maps. Wake up, man.

      June 16, 2011 at 5:16 am | Reply
      • noypi ako

        let's be careful when buying a map, maybe that map made from china, that map surely is an amended one.

        June 27, 2011 at 7:54 am |
    • Voice of Freedom

      To Chinese Lee:

      All of the items I mentioned are irrelevant? You are the one who brought up the Falklands. And that comparison with Greece? C'mon. First of all, the Greek city-states was a protean entity at best during the classical age with shifting boundaries. Their current territory only determined after their independence from the Ottoman Empire. While they have territorial and historical disputes with neighbors such as the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, present-day Greek territory has been acknowledged internationally and backed up by legitimacy through international agreements.

      How about your argument about China exercising dominion in the last 1,000 years? With what? Junks? When the Europeans started carving up our beloved Southeast Asia in the 1600s, where were you to "demonstrate" your dominion over the seas you foolishly call your own? Your country, in fact, was carved up as well. So much for glorious Imperial China. That dominion does not exist in the modern context. The disputed area is clearly under international waters with parts rightfully AND legally belonging to Vietnam and the Philippines due to UNCLOS and various international agreements. No country is above the law. Unilateral action will result in an escalation of conflict such as what your government is presently doing, flexing its muscles now because it can. What will result with your bullying of Vietnam and the Philippines? An unwarranted conflict that will drag not just the rest of ASEAN but also the United States and the United Nations. Now how does China stack up against a united front? Who will history see as the antagonists? I daresay it won't be the Vietnamese or the Filipinos, seeing as they are the victims of aggression in this regard.

      Self-determination is the best way to prove sovereignty over a territory. Without that, international conventions and laws. First-discovery and your biased "historical documents" no longer apply in today's globalized world. This isn't the colonial period where you can just take whatever you can without respecting your neighbors, various claimants, and international law.

      Think! It is your arguments that are irrelevant as they reflect a stubborn, archaic Chinese government, which I believe do not reflect the aspirations of your people, only the hawks and warmongers.

      June 21, 2011 at 4:19 am | Reply
  7. Blah Blah

    The islands are closer to the Philippines than they are to China! I don't know what's up with China and their claims! All they want to do is instigate and bully all of the Asian countries around the Spratys. It's all good! Filipinos are fights and they would fight with their blood, sweat and tears to defend their sovereignty!

    June 14, 2011 at 6:36 pm | Reply
    • China Lee

      The Chinese South China Sea map delineates the precise maritime boundary in accordance with international law. According to the U.N., the maritime boundary is the midpoint between the shorelines of Vietnam (or Philippines) and the Chinese South China Sea islands; which Vietnam and the Philippines are illegally refusing to respect.

      June 15, 2011 at 6:06 am | Reply
      • Philippines, USA 1940

        When China see how strong the US-Philippines relationship is, it will back out. Spratley islands will be given to Manila. USA just need to stop buying Chinese made products and it will defeat china.

        June 18, 2011 at 11:09 am |
      • Karlo

        Stop waivng your so-called "Chinese South China Map" around. Of course it will show what you want to see because the map is "made in China."

        June 19, 2011 at 1:25 am |
      • Jun Dela Cruz

        well i don't know if your blind or just a plain stupid. have you checked the google globe lately? the globe itself is telling the truth not the chinese history. we all know that chinese is known for their historical records. do you think spartly is closer to mainland china? wake up man!!

        June 20, 2011 at 3:36 pm |
      • noypi ako

        check google map and the UNCLOS map.... we can see the clear picture of how the islands were placed.
        so china, keep off the south china sea..go back to red china and work like a slaves and surrender ur produce to the ur communist government..............

        June 27, 2011 at 8:00 am |
    • Jun Dela Cruz

      Even though i am away from my native land (Philippines) I will go back just to defend my country up to my last breathe. That is what my ancestor's taught us....

      June 20, 2011 at 5:00 pm | Reply
      • noypi ako

        same here my brother, i'll go back home just to defend my Motherland-Philippines

        June 27, 2011 at 8:02 am |
  8. TBN

    "have long been known to China as the Nansha and Xisha Islands" This is not true Kathleen!
    How long?

    June 15, 2011 at 4:00 am | Reply
  9. TBN

    "It seems a growing number of supporters believe names mean much when it comes to territory"
    It is 21st century. The greatest and most powerful nation in the world got a good president who is black. Americans chose him. The world was surprised and admired it. That is another definition of the word "evolution"!

    June 15, 2011 at 4:16 am | Reply
  10. TBN

    One more thing. If this article were under my name instead of Kathleen E. McLaughlin, it would not be here.
    Sorry CNN (-:)

    June 15, 2011 at 4:33 am | Reply
  11. Malaya

    the more stronger and powerful country you are,,the more small country that you can conquer...just pray for the Chinese that they would not be punished by GOD by their greedy...

    June 15, 2011 at 5:59 am | Reply
    • Robert Nguyen

      Chinese are basically good people like anyone of us. I have many lifetime Chinese friends – it's just the Communist police state regime that are creating all kinds of problems for the world.

      June 16, 2011 at 1:12 am | Reply
  12. where's the love?

    ok i dont know to you guys but... the spratly's is like 70-100 miles from palawan (territory of the philippines) while china is like 200-300 miles from the islands! when it was the time of marcos he declared the spratly's a philippines territory... now all of us dont want another falklands war in asia all over again... if there will be war with the countries... then im sorry to say this but... us FILIPINO'S will be screwed cause china has more tanks and other war machines than philippines and vietnam combined! its like a schoolyard bully beating up a child 4 times smaller than him..

    June 15, 2011 at 8:27 am | Reply
    • Robert Nguyen

      No fear my friend. You just need to focus and hit where it hurts most. Yes China is now too big to be missed...

      June 16, 2011 at 1:14 am | Reply
      • noypi ako

        you are as greedy and selfish as ur government nguyen....i do understand because u believe in buddha who died already and no power to save you and give u life eternal....

        June 27, 2011 at 8:07 am |
    • Karlo

      If Philippines and Vietnam were to go to war against China, then all I can say is that China will be defeated because their bullets will be made in China meaning....low quality. The Philippine and Vietnam terrain will prove futile to the communist Chinese invaders. It is not about Machineries and weapons. China is a bully and the way to beat a bully is to face it.

      June 19, 2011 at 1:29 am | Reply
      • noypi ako

        STOP BUYING PRODUCTS MADE IN CHINA, they are low quality and poisonous.
        STOP BUYING PRODUCTS MADE IN CHINA, they are low quality and poisonous.
        STOP BUYING PRODUCTS MADE IN CHINA, they are low quality and poisonous.

        June 27, 2011 at 8:09 am |
  13. Chinese man

    What do you think first when you think about China?
    – FAKE!! Yes, that is. A country of FAKE.

    June 15, 2011 at 9:49 am | Reply
    • noypi ako

      beware dear brothers and sisters....

      June 27, 2011 at 8:11 am | Reply
  14. Support Vietnamese

    As far as I know, Chinese Communists are always worthless rubbish. I do think that the rest of the world will support Vietnamese if war happens.

    June 15, 2011 at 10:07 am | Reply
    • bob

      America can really use a war with china. They shoot at us, we wipe out our debts.

      June 15, 2011 at 11:27 am | Reply
      • Thatsnotrue:[

        That does not make sense...........and both of you sound like.....haters who don't know the real situation but is hoping for a war with "communist China". Why want more bloodshed, don't you think America spilt enough?

        June 15, 2011 at 3:01 pm |
      • Robert Nguyen

        We don't have to even shoot 1 bullet – all we need is to bring all the jobs home to America, and China will instantly become 5 new countries. Boy – never thought the US has such a secret weapon...

        June 16, 2011 at 1:23 am |
      • Philippines, USA 1940

        LOL. Nice one Bob. I have this in my mind too..

        June 18, 2011 at 11:11 am |
  15. skeptic

    The last time China and Vietnam fought, 32 years ago, China amassed more than 1.5 million solders along the Sino-USSR border to keep the Russians on good behavior.

    This time is very different. China can just move that 1.5 million Chinese soldiers into Vietnam and annex Vietnam for good.

    June 15, 2011 at 2:01 pm | Reply
    • PeaceMessi

      it is not about the military strength here. It is true that China is more powerful than its smaller neighbors, but it is not an excuse for China to invade these states. Regarding wars, obviously nobody wants to go for war (except some mad guys). Vietnam can be a small nation, but it has always stood up firmly to protect its sovereignty. Look at wars against the US, and many other wars against China (including the recent one in 1979). The powerful Mongolian empire in the 13th century invaded and conquered almost all nations in Asia and Eastern Europe, including China, but it was defeated 3 times by Vietnam when it tried to invade this country.

      June 16, 2011 at 5:23 am | Reply
    • Voice of Freedom

      Oh man, China going to war with Vietnam would be genocide...on the part of the Chinese. Those 1.5-million soldiers turned to cannon fodder. Let's revisit history shall we. Vietnam War. Need I say more? The United States – then at THE highest point of its global reach with military bases in the Philippines, Thailand, Japan, Diego Garcia, and South Korea – lost that war. No offense to our American friends, but it really was a quagmire. The discrepancy in military technology was great but that didn't change the outcome of the conflict. Hypothetically, should the Chinese invade because of the territorial dispute, the Vietnamese would replicate their guerilla tactics against them and history would repeat itself. Those thousands of looping underground tunnels still exist. China today doesn't even have equipment that parallels the US military in the 1970s. So, same outcome, maybe worse seeing as China would most likely flood the country with soldiers leading to more casualties.

      Same with the Philippines, should the Chinese invade, they won't simply be facing Filipinos, but also the Americans by virtue of their 50+ years old Mutual Defense Treaty.

      June 21, 2011 at 4:43 am | Reply
      • China Man

        If you like War, pls remember American failed in Vietnam wall because China support north part of Vietnam. In 1954, south Vietnam was kicked away from the islands with help of American big boats. Vietnam was almost wrapped out by china in 1976. China never afraid the war, and always won the American, even with much much less military force.

        May 19, 2014 at 8:25 pm |
  16. TBN

    "China’s rivals are toying with a simple idea: change the name of the sea." I like this.
    Egyptians, Tunisians, and others have been toying with the name "Jasmine" on Facebook and making history. The best design is the simplest one that works.

    June 15, 2011 at 5:07 pm | Reply
  17. Robert Nguyen

    As Secretary Clinton has declared "The Communist can only defies history only for so long...".
    Jasmine shall come sooner rather than later; and all my friends shall be free again...

    June 16, 2011 at 1:28 am | Reply
  18. Robert Nguyen

    In China now – just about every Chinese household has American designed, or cultured products – – – so 100 years from now, when American archaeological teams discovered these artifacts – they can legitimately claimed China belong to the US. Is this acceptable?
    For thousands of years Vietnamese shared a written language with Chinese and shared the same Confucius literature and practices – so of course all of our artifacts looked like Chinese – but they are in fact not Chinese.
    Of late the Communist Chinese have become truly belligerent. It even claimed some Japanese islands belong to China for the same reason. Ancient Japanese also shared the same written language with Chinese, but they are definitely not Chinese either.

    June 16, 2011 at 1:41 am | Reply
    • figlio

      The Chinese government certainly has nurtured greed and thuggish behaviour well deep in their brainwashed citizens. I do not know how it is there in China, maybe in their local towns, its acceptable for someone to just steal another person's house if he left something there (like a rug or a strand of hair)

      June 17, 2011 at 3:21 am | Reply
  19. Robert Nguyen

    It 's been a hardship, but my family and I have been boycotting all Chinese goods wherever possible. I have to admit, it's been hard especially for my young daughter but we shall continue to do this until this issue is resolve – hopefully peacefully...

    June 16, 2011 at 1:44 am | Reply
    • Robert Noobyen

      Well, good for you. I am sure they've burned the goods that you avoided to buy in their front yard with other over produced merchandises.

      June 17, 2011 at 4:16 pm | Reply
    • Philippines, USA 1940

      I know it's hard. I post a message at walmart that me, friends and relatives are not buying anymore chinese made products.

      June 18, 2011 at 11:15 am | Reply
      • Jun Dela Cruz

        back here in the middle east i encourage arab people not to buy any chinese made items....i'm just doing my small part as a Filipino...

        June 20, 2011 at 4:39 pm |
      • noypi ako

        Great my frend, and thanks a lot... stop buying chinese made products....
        they are low quality and will end up to trashcans and after trashcans to the compost pits and some just thrown anywhere and become hazardous to health...

        June 27, 2011 at 8:26 am |
  20. fake king

    china's economy strongly depends on western companies because of cheap labor at the same time stealing intellectual property rights producing fake items and being sold to asian neighbors.

    what will happen to china if:
    1. western companies leave china
    2. boycott all chinese products even just in asian countries
    3. deport all chinese around the world back to china

    in all times, these breed can't be trusted!

    June 19, 2011 at 10:43 am | Reply
    • Thatsnotrue:[

      How dumb are you?

      1. As many western companies there are there's ten times more local companies/businesses
      2. ........Not possible, China's a major exporter and importer, so they consume what they make and the things exported are to western countries, not Asian.
      3. Racist, and good luck with that we're all over the world, there are second, third generation Chinese people all over the world, you know immagration and citizenship and all.

      Calling us a breed, wow how pig like, you attempt to degrade a civilization that's been around for the longest time, one of four, do your research.

      Fake king......you really are one, still think that your country's on top of the world when it's in the dumps.....and posting such ignorant and thoughtless comments, you are among the small "breed" of ignorants that doesn't reconize the REAL problems n your country, sheep.

      June 20, 2011 at 5:15 pm | Reply
  21. Jason

    You know it's funny that you guys start by talking about the South Sea controversy, and now the conversation is about going to war with China and splitting its territory. I am Chinese and I am not much for communism because I know it does not work in practice. But communism is just a disguise, China is actually practicing State Capitalism, and corruption runs deep in the system, and there is a lack of human rights for the people.

    I know all these, but if you think invading China is going to solve the South Sea issue or even the U.S. economic issue, you are dead wrong. Our philosophy, unlike that of U.S., is that we are not into other people's business, but if we are invaded by other countries, we will strike back.

    For those of you who blame China for the economy, you are laughable. Even if U.S. companies do not set up factories in China, they will go elsewhere in Asia or even Africa to find cheap labour. Blaming China is a convenience for U.S. senators to answer to their constituents. The truth is U.S. just cannot compete with countries that have low minimum wages and taxes and environmental fees, and so there is no way that the U.S. companies will move the factories back to U.S. The corporation's job is to make profit, they don't care about unemployment.

    Lastly, in case you guys haven't realized, it is in the U.S. interest to see, if not cause, conflicts in other regions of the world, so that more countries will buy weapons from U.S. government. U.S. is the largest exporter of weapons in the world.

    June 22, 2011 at 6:30 pm | Reply
  22. Secret

    Yo China, u got like 1/4 of the world already, SO FUCK OFF

    June 24, 2011 at 10:27 am | Reply
  23. Peace

    all what written on wikipedia by Chinese dirty men. I can delete all then write " anywhere in the world have Chinese grave there must be China sovereignty. Yes. In Viẹtman you can find many many place where a lot of Chinese dead bodys during thousand years to try to invade Vietnam land.

    June 25, 2011 at 11:41 pm | Reply
    • interesting

      Many of them died for the freedom of Vietnam in the war against French and Americans. You better have some respect.

      July 1, 2011 at 4:05 am | Reply
  24. Chill

    Just a thought. History should not be the basis in settling this territorial dispute. Nations including the claimants agreed by penning UNCLOS. Claimants should do diplomatic talks first 'multilaterally' to understand each others' concerns and to meet 'halfway' on their claims. Unproven assumptions, political rhetoric and paranoia over each other's actions will not solve the issue. I also agree that as of now, the US should be on the sidelines first unless clashes that may threaten world peace occur. Well, we cannot avoid US not being involved because (1) freedom to navigate is their concern; (2) their air and naval bases are scattered all over the Pacific wherein they exercise sovereignty; and (3) since one of the claimants, the Republic of the Philippines is its treaty ally. Lastly, if PRC is really serious in maintaining peace and balance of power over the region and if it wants to be respected later on as a superpower, it should set an example. But so far, its statements and actions prove otherwise. It reminds me of the Empire of Japan before the 2nd World War broke in the Pacific.

    June 26, 2011 at 5:49 am | Reply

    China, this bullying is going too far. You were a poor friendless country when ASEAN started taking you into it's wings and recognizing you...legitimizing your government and introducing you to the community of civilized nations. Your economic prosperity as well as south-east asia's is afforded because of the peace and stability umbrella under Pax Americana. Now that your stronger...you're bullying the smaller nations of ASEAN...your arrogance and greed will be broken....ASEAN, Japan, South Korea , India and the US will never allow you to be the greedy grubby nation that you are. If you are such a civilized nation....then bring your case to the UN, The International Court of Justice and help solve this issue multilaterally because this is an international concern. All the other claimants are willing to deal with this diplomatically except you.....You just insist on your outdated maps. Bring it and let a third party decide? If you insist on your arrogance and greediness...you will cause instability n the Asia-Pacific region...our hard earned labors and economic prosperity will be all lost because of these islands...The West will win again. Instead of a united Asia under your benevolent leadership...the countries surrounding you are wary and afraid of you. Why can't you be more the US? If you think Asean and the ancient sea faring nations of south east asia who have traversed these waters to populate island south-east asia will just let you come in and take everything from us because your stronger. You are wrong! ASEAN will UNITE to thwart your ambitions!

    June 28, 2011 at 12:34 am | Reply
    • interesting

      You just go too emotional. The international court does not help in these occassions. There are many grey areas in the international law where the Court can interprete by its free will. This is too much for countries to afford. Besides, the court is far from a fully fledged regime to deal with sensitive cases. If it worked, we would have no Middle East issues, every international dispute would end up in the Court and get sorted out. But you know that is not reality.

      China's claim is based on its former government's claim, the Republic of China. The Republic of China claimed those islands because its predecessor the Qing Dynasty owned those islands. With all my respect, the world did not know a country called Indoesnia or phillippnes or Malaysia by then. So today China's move is berely an assertion of its ancient rights. As China also suffered lost of lands in the past and was subject to the yoke of West colonists, the dispute over territory was as sensitive as in China than in any other countries. Any give in of territories to others will flashback the bitter past and inflame the nationalism widely-something the ruling communist party is wary of and tries hard to avoid. so if you see China's move is out of greediness, you are just mistaken.

      July 1, 2011 at 3:59 am | Reply
      • gab

        chinese is an idiot..

        April 24, 2012 at 12:34 am |
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