Wednesday, September 5, 2012

List of Complaints Against China: A Backgrounder

The territorial disputes in Asia has been getting a lot of media attention this year but a few years back, such disagreements over these small pieces of land were never broadcasted by international media outlets. 

With Washington sending Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to talk to Asian nations involved in the territorial brawl, Beijing made it clear that its government is not happy with the US’s move.

In recent years, China’s rise as an economic power not only in the region but in the world has made its neighbors more concerned about the disputes than before. This “nervousness” is not unfounded however considering that the list of complaints against China is a bit lengthy.

In the year 1974, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) drove Vietnam from Paracel Islands. In the year 1988, the same group took Johnson South Reef from the Vietnamese. By the 1990s, China took Mischief Reef from the Philippines without a fight. Over a decade later, the USNS Impeccable sitting in its exclusive economic zone was confronted by a Chinese fleet. In 2010, Japan reported that the Chinese limited rare earth metal exports to the former. A year later, the Vietnamese government reported that Chinese paramilitary vessels purposely severed survey cables behind its exploration vessels. This year, the Philippines said the Chinese used coercive economic diplomacy in the heat of the Scarborough Shoal mêlée.

While this list is a bit daunting and can scare regular folk, none of the claimants of these little pieces of land are considering a conflict-based approach. 

Photo: Reuters


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