Mr. Michael Fuchs
today at our efforts to modernize these alliances including new agreements like the enhanced defense cooperation agreement with the Philippines and the U.S. Australia Force posture agreement will benefit the entire region. Now some call as outsiders and tell us not intervene in regional issues but they ignore the fact that for decades United States has been a Pacific Power…
the tensions arising from competing territorial and maritime claims in the South China Sea are a key test of the region’s institutions and durability up old international law and resolve disputes peacefully.
The situation in the South China Sea no doubt is complex six claimants plentiful fisheries and potential hydrocarbon reserves the growing presence of maritime law enforcement vessels and hundreds of geographic features make for pre dynamic situation.
more over many of these features are submerged and therefore not subject to suffered….
Mr. Paul Reichler
Attorney and Legal Adviser on Philippines’ tribunal
Although it to its origin can be traced back to the internal maps of the People’s Republic of China as far as 1949 and even to the Republic of China that preceded it in 1947 and 1948 but it was never asserted not even in Chinese legislation in the 1990s as the boundary or as the extent of china’s soverign claims until 2009.
And that is really where the present conflict has its origins and it was immediately protested by Vietnam Malaysia and the Philippines and Indonesia is well known among other states. It is you can see on this map.
I think this is a fairly good depiction the line extends of more than a 200 miles from the Chinese mainland coast or from the coast of the chinese island of hainan in fact that it’s so the extremity it’s a more than 700 nautical miles from China and in the parts that concern the Philippines you can see the dashes off the coast of Luzon and one of the main islands of the Philippines in the north
Those are more than 400 miles from China and the within 50 miles of the Philippine Coast as you get down to the dashes adjacent to Palawan one another main island of the Philippines in the southwest of the Philippines southeast of picture from these are anywhere from 500 to 600 miles away from China and begin within 30 to 50 miles of the Philippines the reason those of distances are important is because under the….
On top of a mischief reef mischief reef was seized by China in 1995 construction began in 1998 and it’s actually been enhanced since news of photos were taken but what China has done here and in other locations is simply to create islands were known previously existed and that of does not give them any legal entitlement to these features under the law of the sea convention it’s very clear that of any artificial installation on top of the feature that is not the true island does not give sovereignty does not give any maritime entitlements to the state that has unilaterally from that our position in this case is that mischief reef because it is that in its natural state submerge all the time is as I mentioned a few moments ago part of the seabed and therefore part of the Philippines continental shelf especially as it lies within only 100 miles of the Philippines.
More recently China has been expanding its presence in its facilities on some of the spratly features. This McKennan reef also known as Hughes Reef which is just inside the 200 mile limit of the Philippines that it has been under Chinese control for some time what we will we see here in our developments taking place in 2014.
China is creating new facilities on these very tiny, naturally, uninhabitable facilities. I don’t want to speculate as to what the purpose may be but in some of the other features with this activity has taken place we’ve seen that China has built barracks and even Heliports of which could be used for military purposes if that is indeed the potential. the same is true if Johnson reef another Spratly features that is largely underwater of and within 200 miles of the Philippines..