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China's imperial designs under sovereignty guise
Posted:Feb 13, 2017
 
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By Makhan Saikia

China’s grand imperial designs have no end, probably. With Xi Jinping, the country has certainly bolstered its claim over more and more territories, including the ones in the most controversial chain of islands in the South China Sea (SCS). It is nothing new for China as it has been claiming its ownership and control over the entire SCS islands. But what came as a rude shock to the international community, particularly to the nations around the SCS, was Beijing’s swift move to construct artificial islands in the disputed areas. It caused tremors in Malaysia, Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, Brunei and Vietnam. All of them looked for an immediate intervention by the US and the other regional powers, like Japan, so as to contain China’s aggressive expansionist agenda. But then President Barack Obama maintained a feeble stance on China’s sovereignty claims. The Obama Administration did not recognise any ownership of the islands and asserted that these are international water, and, therefore, China alone cannot have its sole right to either occupy or claim them altogether. But then finally the US sent the USS Decatur, a warship into the area in the last October near the most disputed Paracel Islands, calling it as the “freedom of navigation exercises”. The White House said it was to “demonstrate lawful uses of the sea that the United States and all States are entitled to exercise under international law”.
 
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The Pioneer, February 14, 2017
 
 
 
 
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