The Great Wall of Sand

Published on Author barryp17

Rights to the area of South China Sea are disputed.  China claims the majority of the Sea as its own national waters, but these postulations overlap with what the countries of Vietnam, the Philippines, Taiwan, Malaysia and Brunei.


This issue of territorial claims has arose recently, as the Chinese are creating land formations on top of coral reefs in the Sea near the Spratly Islands.  The Chinese state that they have the rights to do so because it is their land, thus no one can constitute their actions as illegal in any nature. In addition, regardless of whether or not these constructions efforts are legal, the United States Navy has taken objection to them.  They are building these formation with unparalleled pace and new techniques.  Instead of adding to existing formation, as they and other countries have done in the past, China is changing the size and structure of these masses.  Further they are moving faster than ever before seen, thus the United State’s anxiety about the construction.  They add airstrips and ports.

China has stated that this is their right and they are not targeting anyone for military attack or military protection.  In 2013, the United States Secretary of State, John Kerry, warned the Chinese not to do something of this scale in the South China Sea.  This is too large of coincidence to allow the Chinese to continue construction without asking more questions regarding their intentions.  Countries’ with claims in the South China Sea, as well as the United States, can invoke these rights in order to stop the Chinese.

3 Responses to The Great Wall of Sand

  1. With China’s expanding navy, these artificial islands could be extremely beneficial for controlling Asian waters, however, the island construction doesn’t come without controversy.

  2. These islands aren’t potential ports, so are of no interest to a navy. In contrast, a combination of political nationalism, an interest in (potential) offshore minerals and expanded fishing rights are all at play. By building on these reefs, the Chinese are presenting others with a fait accompli as neighbors are afraid to send gunboats to destroy these facilities.

  3. Another post I read talked about the building of three new nuclear Chinese submarines with the latest and greatest in weaponry and underwater missile launching capabilities. These new islands and ports would definitely be a concern with these new, “faster and quieter” nuclear submarines swimming around the South China Sea. This is definitely concerning for China’s neighbors as well as the the U.S.