Brookes Raja, where are you when we need you now?
We were just talking about this yesterday, weren't we?
Yet one more land mass in the South China Sea the sovereignty in dispute, claimed by various parties, the Chinese ONLY this last week flexing military muscle in furtherance of dominion, a demonstration of force, having the appearance at least to me of a SOVPAT [sovereignty patrol].
More also too like a reconnaissance in force, a mission to test the resolve of surrounding nations and observe the response or lack thereof.
1. "Chinese navy makes presence felt at disputed shoal"
"YOKOSUKA NAVAL BASE, Japan — A Chinese amphibious task force conducted patrol and training missions at a shoal 50 miles from Malaysia’s coast Monday, furthering its assertive claims to nearly all territory in an area that most of the world considers international waters."
"Chinese officials said they'“were determined to safeguard the country’s sovereignty with their services on the South China Sea' during a ceremony at uninhabited James Shoal"
James Shoal underlined in RED!
"The visit to James Shoal, known as Zengmu Reef to China, was unusual for the firepower brought to bear on a territory also claimed by Malaysia and Taiwan."
Depending on who you are speaking to at any given particular moment, these "islands" called:
"Zengmu Ansha [Chinese], James Shoal [English], Beting Serupai [Malaysian]".
"James Shoal is a small bank in the South China Sea, with a depth of 22 metres (72 ft) is claimed by Malaysia, the People's Republic of China, and the Republic of China (Taiwan)."
Claimed by three parties, China, Taiwan and Malaysia. These "islands" about fifty miles from the coast of what used to be called Sarawak, the James Shoal at the southern most point of the Nine Dash Line.
Chinese Nine Dash Line all within claimed as sovereign Chinese territory! NOT subject to negotiation! Step lightly and obey tremble-ing-ly!
We need to be especially clear with regard to the James Shoal. NOT an island or series of islands as that term understood. A shoal, a reef, shallow waters, NOT ANY OF THE JAMES SHOAL APPEARING ABOVE WATER, THE SHALLOWEST PORTION OF WHICH LIES ABOUT 22 METERS BELOW THE WATER!! Upon arriving at the location of the James Shoal NO islands are to be see at all!!
Also from the Claude Arpi web site:
2. "How a non-existent island became China's southernmost territory"
"Where is the 'southernmost point of Chinese territory'? It's a controversial question and the least controversial answer might be Hainan Island . . . officially the southernmost point is even further south - as far south as the James Shoal, about 100 kilometres from the coast of Borneo. What's more surprising is that this piece of the motherland is actually invisible. There's nothing there to see, unless you have diving equipment. [The James Shoal lies 22 metres below [the] sea.]
Thank you Mr. Arpi.
SOVPATS at least once every five years actually "touching ground" for claims of dominion and sovereignty to be solid and legal, recognized by international law. The Australians do it, the Danes do it, the Canadians do it, so I guess the Chinese can too.