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Singapore Asks for Restraint as China Sails at Will in the South China Sea.

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Singapore, which doesn’t make assertion to any of the waters of the South China Sea, beyond we expect a two hundred mile limit area, has called on Beijing to clarify claims to disputed areas of the South China Sea. Singapore has received, in a port call, the Chinese vessel Haixun 31,which has commenced patrolling the region including the Paracel and Spratly Island groups doing surveying, inspection of oil wells, and, China states, “to protect Maritime security.” The actions by China are deemed “confrontational.”

China, the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan all claim territory in the oil and natural gas rich region.

A statement from Singapore reads: “It is our hope that parties to the disputes in the South China Sea will act with restraint to create conditions conducive to the peaceful settlement of these disputes and the continuation of peace, stability and growth.”

The Haixun 31 is China’s largest and most capable patrol boat, with a helipad, a hangar, and a flight control tower. It will be the lead ship in a small convoy. The Haixun 31 was earlier brought out by China for patrol in the East Sea, around the Chunxiao gas field, and area in dispute between China and Japan.

Chinese news sources report the sailing of the Haixun 31 and the civilian patrol group as a “journey to carry out patrols of the waters being developed by China in the South China Sea. This includes monitoring shipping, carrying out surveys, inspecting oil wells and enforcing maritime security.” The June 17 release to the Xinhuanet calls this a 2,600 kilometer, six day voyage.

About John Lake

John Lake had a long and successful career in legitimate and musical theater. He moved up into work behind the camera at top motion pictures. He has done a smattering of radio, and television John joined the Blogcritics field of writers owing to a passion for the liberal press, himself speaking out about the political front, and liberal issues. Now the retired Mr. Lake has entered the field of motion picture, television, and video game (now a daily gamer!) critique. His writing is always innovative and immensely readable!
  • China Lee

    Chinese South China Sea sovereignty is based on:

    1. China’s historical first discovery and claim in 618 A.D.

    2. Unchallenged Chinese dominion for over a thousand years.

    The South China Sea islands and territory were claimed by the Tang, Song, and countless other Chinese dynasties. Vietnamese and Filipinos lacked ocean-faring boats and were not even aware of the existence of the Paracel and Spratly Islands from the 7th century to the 17th century.

    3. Historical written Chinese imperial records.

    Tang, Song, and countless Chinese dynasties describe the Paracel and Spratly Islands as part of China.

    4. Physical proof of Chinese inhabitants (Chinese burials and artifacts)

    5. Vietnamese ceded any potential legal claim to the Paracel and Spratly Islands on September 14, 1958 in a signed diplomatic document by Vietnam Premier Pham Van.

    6. The entire Vietnamese government admitted to Chinese sovereignty over the South China Sea islands and territory.

    On June 15, 1956, Vice Foreign Minister of the DRV? (North Vietnam) Ung Van Khiem admitted Chinese sovereignty? over the Spratly and Paracel Islands.

    Another DRV official, Le Loc (Temporary Head of the Asian Mission), concurred in Chinese sovereignty over South China Sea islands.

  • John Lake

    Re: China Lee:
    Some research through questionable sources produces the following:
    Vietnam’s Premier Pham Van Dong agreed in a diplomatic note on September 14, 1958 that China owns the South China Sea. On 14/9/1958, a note written on that date seems to concede that the archipelagos of Hoang Sa [Paracel Islands], Nam Sa, and Truong Sa [Spratly Islands] belonged to China.”
    What may have occurred since 1958 is a matter for speculation.
    The treaties, weak as they are, of 2002 seem to state another situation.
    The 200 mile limit to land masses and continental shelves is global.
    If the commenter has information as to the Philippine Islands, and the other nations caught up in this dispute, he has our attention.

  • China Lee

    China has an 1,400-year-old historical title to the Paracel and? Spratly Islands from 618 A.D.? China’s historical title to the South China Sea islands trumps the 1982 U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea as clearly written in Article 15.

    “Article 15 of the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea stipulates that the delineation rule for overlapping territorial sea claims does not apply to areas of historical title.” [Luke's post]

    From UN? website on Article 15: “The above provision does not apply, however, where it is necessary? by reason of historic title or other special circumstances to delimit the territorial seas of the two States in a way which is at variance therewith.”

  • China Lee

    Ocean-faring Chinese explorers had claimed the Spratly Islands over a thousand years ago.

    [Source: Wikipedia article on Spratly Islands with primary sources listed in footnotes]

    “Ancient Chinese maps record the “Thousand Li Stretch of Sands”; Qianli Changsha (????) and the “Ten-Thousand Li of Stone Pools”; Wanli Shitang (????),[7] which China today claims refers to the Spratly Islands. The Wanli Shitang have been explored by the Chinese since the Yuan Dynasty and may have been considered by them to have been within their national boundaries. [8][9] They are also referenced in the 13th century,[10] followed by the Ming Dynasty.[11] When the Ming Dynasty collapsed, the Qing Dynasty continued to include the territory in maps compiled in 1724,[12] 1755,[13] 1767,[14] 1810,[15] and 1817.[16] A Vietnamese map from 1834 also includes the Spratly Islands clumped in with the Paracels (a common occurrence on maps of that time) labeled as “Wanli Changsha”.[17]“

  • john lee

    Look at the world is laughing at China unlawfully demand 80% of the East Sea.

  • John Lake

    Remember, Mr John Lee, that China is moving from a military government to civilian rule. It is necessary for China to continue the economy moving forward. Billions of Chinese live is desperate conditions. Farmers are being retrained for useful skills. I doubt that anyone is laughing at China.

  • STM

    I’ve recently been in Manila, where the newspapers were full of stories about this dispute, as the Filipinos claim a couple of the disputed Spratly islands.

    Everywhere, even there, the call seems to be for “restraint”. Perhaps China should exercise a bit too.

    It has as much to lose as those it’s in dispute with if it doesn’t, given how many trading partners it has in the region.

    There is a need to exercise huge sensitivity over the issue, particularly because Singapore, Malaysia, Brunei and The Philippines are former British and US colonies or protectorates.

    China flexing its muscle and rattling the sabre is a real worry, especially if it’s an indication of how it intends to take its place as the pre-eminent nation of the coming century.

    It’s a far more serious issue than most people realise and will worry the US most of all.

    No one thinks any shooting will start, but bullying looks to be China’s new weapon.

    China behaving like a bully because it can will probably set off a few alarm bells in the region.

    Everyone hoped it wouldn’t act this way, but when push comes to shove, it does.

    Let’s hope wiser counsel prevails in Beijing on this issue.

  • STM

    To China Lee,

    The English Kings once laid claim to Normandy and large tracts of France, and their atrefacts and the detritus of war waged there have been found for centuries.

    Today, it doesn’t belong to England, belongs to France. Ancient and historical claims have no real meaning.

    Let’s be totally honest about this: China wants the islands because it now thinks, believes or knows they and their surrounding waters might have something it wants.

    That is the reason.

    Please, don’t come on here with ridiculous claims based on such nonsenses as the discovery of ancient Chinese burial mounds. You can find those in Australia, too. The problem with this issue is, not much of it will stand up in the international courts of law and China knows it.

    I wonder how much foreign aid and trade China is threatening to withdraw from sone of these countries as the tensions mount.

    Sorry, but if a group of islands have long been settled by others such as Malays and Filipinos, China is sadly mistaken if it thinks it can just sail in, plant the flag and lay claim to them when they have long been claimed by others with equally valid claims.

    That kind of stuff bedevilled the world for centuries, and we’ve all hoped it ended in 1945.

    They are important boundary markers between countries in the region. The Filipino-claimed islands border Palawan, for instance, which is an almost untouched part of the Philippines.

    The “stuff” in question that has made China so interested of late.

    More than just the great fish stocks, which are worth a suillion on their own … yes, you guessed it, oil and gas reserves.

    What else? If they were a string of useless quays and coral islands, China wouldn’t give a rat’s.

    But they’re not and that’s the key here.

  • STM

    suillion … make that: “squillion”.

  • Lin

    China Lee is obviously a CCP agent.

  • John Lake

    Singapore, a city/state and nation, one of the richest in the world, probably won’t have much difficulty from China.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    I never want to see Singapore be anything other than what it is – a very nice, very safe, and very, very clean city, one that has a truly cosmopolitan population and attitude. Does it have its faults? Surely, in the eyes of those who take offense that spitting on the sidewalk and littering are somehow rights. I do have a problem with needing a permit for chewing gum, but no place this side of Heaven will be perfect in anyone’s eyes, and the positives of Singapore far outweigh the negatives.