As Taiwan deploys another military vessel to Taiping Island in the South China Sea; an island that Taiwan fiercely claims control of, the situation in the region intensifies.
The inclusion of Taiwan into this complex territory claim further supports the probability of military conflict in the South China Sea.
Over the past 12 months, the Philippines has intensely defended its sovereign space across the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea. And, quite rightly so.
The Spratly Islands – South China Sea
The Spratly Islands which consists of 14 key islands, is located approximately 100 miles west of the Philippines. The islands consist of 5 separate territories. China, Vietnam, Taiwan, Malaysia and the Philippines who all claim ownership of islands within the Spratly zone.
Tensions have mounted since the discovery of natural resources, including oil. Since these natural resource deposits were discovered, China has intensified its claim of ownership causing significant unrest across the region, sparking fear of total war outbreak.
The United Nations, the USA, most regions across South East Asia and most of the rational thinking world can see and agree that China’s deployment of military forces and aggression in the claim on previously non-Chinese owned territory is unacceptable and a clear violation of international law.
On the 13th July 2016, The Guardian claimed that Beijing had rejected an international ruling against China in the South China Sea.
The International Tribunal
The international tribunal, which unanimously voted in favour of the Philippines, requested that China significantly scale down its military expansions across the Spratly Islands.
The Chinese President, Xi Jinping stood firm by declaring, “China’s territorial sovereignty and marine rights in the seas would not be affected by the ruling”.
Further criticism was made on China’s controversial “nine-dash line”. The tribunal concluded, “There was no legal basis for China to claim historic rights to resources within the sea areas falling within the ‘nine-dash line”.
What happens next is yet to be decided.