CCP Ignores International Tribunal Ruling And Continues Expansion Plans In South China Sea

Western officials have discovered that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is sending a large number of maritime militia to carry out its land reclamation projects on four uninhabited islands and reefs in the Spratly Islands, including Sandy Cay, Lankiam Cay, Eldad Reef, and Whitsun Reef, to strengthen the CCP’s claim over the disputed territories and thus to expand its influence in world trade. In addition, the CCP is building ports, runways and other infrastructure in these areas. It is possible that the CCP is attempting to militarize these sandbars and uninhabited reefs. In response, the Philippine Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement condemning the land reclamation project carried out by the CCP, which contravenes the the agreement between the CCP and Southeast Asian countries over the disputed waters and the 2016 International tribunal ruling on the South China Sea arbitration case. The ruling holds that the historical sovereignty claimed by the CCP within the nine-dash line in the South China Sea has no legal basis, and that the CCP’s hegemonic actions in the South China Sea seriously violate Philippine sovereignty. The Spratly Islands straddle one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes and have critical military importance, especially in a time of ongoing tensions in the Taiwan Strait. The CCP’s continuing commitment of military power to the South China Sea in recent years has prompted other countries in the region, including the Philippines, Taiwan, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam and Brunei, to also take on reclamation work and consider taking action against the CCP’s expansion.

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