This is a solid overview of the land disputes in the South China Sea for China. There are some points I would like to add on and agree with. Specifically the point made by Richard Weitz about trying to figure out the reason for China’s sudden expansion in the last decade. I think it has much to do with their economic might, which has lead to a rise in military power. Their claims before were weak because they did not have the weight behind them to make the claims hold. Now China has great influence in many of the countries that it is in dispute with and its military power is beginning to dwarf that of other in the region. With this China now has the ability to do as other countries like the U.S. has done in the past and go it alone on many claims. However, I do not think that this aspect alone accounts for the new wave of aggression from China. I feel that it can most fall on the actions of the U.S. and its pivot towards East Asian. Chinese claims now are more than important for the PRC to acquire resources and show the West that it can play on the international scale. As far as the island of Xansha, which was highlighted at the beginning of the report. Claims for that from the other countries should be given up I feel. China has already invested too much in it to give it up. Taiwan and Vietnam should focus their resources and efforts to other claims in the region.
Thanks to Hegamonic China, the Spratley Islands and the Scarborough Shoal are the new Dokdo/Takeshima despite the islands being in the Philippine’s Exclusive Economic Zone. Though for some reason the creator of this map included Ferdinand Marcos’ old claim for Sabah. Word is that China’s started a cyber war and is DDoSing PLDT internet connections within the country.
What this map is missing is the presence of the US 7th Fleet sitting between Taiwan and the mainland. While regional hegemony is heavily in favor of the PRC, the US and its huge military presence should never be forgotten.