Sunday, April 7, 2013


The Paracel Islands are in the uppermost box)
China has announced that it will open the occupied South China Sea islands known as the Paracels to commercial tourism. This action will be seen by China's neighbors as yet another aggressive move to confer de jure status on its quest to turn the South China Sea into a Chinese lake, and it will not be received well.

China conquered the Paracel Islands, which were part of Vietnam, through a bloody naval invasion in 1974, which was witnesses by an American military observer on the scene. In addition to the valid Vietnamese claim on the islands, the Republic of China (Taiwan) also has a role, due to its 1945 claim on all Japanese-occupied islands taken through military action.

Vietnam, which has both the best historical, as well as legal claim (through France) to the Paracels, should vehemently object to this Chinese attempt to formalise its claim. Actions like this will only result in an increase in country risk levels in the region.

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