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A Ridiculous Claim


      What is the basis for China’s claim over all islands and shoals in the South China Sea, a name given by Western countries that once colonized the region?

      China says its claim is based on history, citing alleged maps drawn up by Chinese traders and fishermen that traveled the region for centuries. This  probably includes pirates like Limahong who twice tried to occupy Manila in the 1500s but was repelled by Filipinos.

      The name China Sea, according to Wikipedia, was first used by the Portuguese who occupied parts of China and other countries in Southeast Asia and India. Later, other European colonizers added South to pinpoint its exact location.


      If China’s logic is followed, the heirs of the former rulers of the Majapahit empire which ruled parts of Mindanao and had crude maps of the region can claim it as their territory.  Spain and the US can claim the Philippines as theirs. The Sultanate of Sulu that exists to this day can also lay claim to Mindanao, Palawan and the Spratlys that were once under its control. So were the Arab traders who were frequent visitors to the Philippines and other Southeast Asian countries.

      Joe Ma. Sison, founder of the Maoist Communist Party of the Philippines, himself ridiculed China’s claim saying that if history is the basis for its claim, then Rome can claim all the former countries within the Roman empire.  Heirs of Genghis Khan, ruler of the Mongolian empire in the 1000s, could also claim to China and other countries in the Persian gulf that his hordes once conquered.  The Philippines can also lay claim to islets in the Sulu Sea, Saudi Arabia all the areas within the Arabian Sea, Mexico all the islands in the Gulf of Mexico and India all countries in the Indian Ocean.

      Like Tibet, China wants to impose its ridiculous claim over the entire South China Sea by force. This includes Japan’s Senkaku islands simply because it is located in the East China Sea.

      Instead of answering these questions, China is now occupying most of the islets and shoals and stationing troops in them despite loud protests from Vietnam and the Philippines.


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