Today China issued a warning to the Phillipines over their maritime intrusions into disputed waters at the Scarborough Shoal in South China Sea.
Phillphine and Chinese vessels have been in a face off at the Shoal since the 8th of April because both the countries have claimed that they own it. Over the past few weeks, China has asked the Phillipine twice to 'chill' so the problem can be solved in other ways, but the Phillipine government has ignored these warnings and has increased navy patrols in the disputed water. The United States and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations were also asked to intervene.
Which country has right to the islands?
Well, this dispute dates back to before WWI when there were maps showing the boundaries of each country, but for an island this small, there may not have a very clear indication. Also, after WWII, the US had been looking after few territories. Only a few decades ago that the US returned them back or left them because it was not sure who the owner was. As a result, there is no answer for the above question.
However, one thing that appears very clear to me is the incident is more about which country has a stronger military power than the other one.
A very similar incident happened last year on another disputed island 'Diaoyu Island' which is also located somewhere in the South China Sea. Both China and Japan accused each other of intrusion. A Chinese fisherman was then arrested by the Japanese but was released after a three-week detention. The US had gotten involved in the very end of this dispute.
I have read both sides of the news reports from their news websites, including Chinese and Phillipine reports as well as Chinese and Janpanese reports. They published very similar articles.
According to the Phillipine news website (PhilStar.com), the Phillipines has the absolute territory right on the disputed waters around the Scarborough Shoal and what China did was 'illegal'.
In the People's Daily, a chinese news website, it said that China will rather solve the problem without using any violence. But China is not be scared of war and the people are all prepared for it.
I am not taking any side or hoping which to win because i don't think these kind of problem can be solved easily unless one of the sides is willing to give in and sign a clear treaty stating who owns the territory. I have always been curious as to why the US always intervenes in issues that are not of its concern. In most cases, the US would be the one standing in the opposite position against China. Is it really that simple to obtain justice and peace? Or is this because China's economy is threatening the US?
[One of the phillipine news website] http://www.philstar.com/Article.aspx?articleId=803730&publicationSubCategoryId=63
[BBC news on 8 May] http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-17986576
[The SingDao Daily, a Hong Kong newspaper] http://hk.news.yahoo.com/傅瑩召菲駐華代表交涉黃岩島事件-065900036.html;_ylt=AqP.gChvNLgnEyo5tQW5NVOdn8h_;_ylu=X3oDMTQ2ZDF1ZWF1BG1pdANMYXRlc3ROZXdzIExpc3RpbmcEcGtnAzgyYjVlYjM3LWMxOWMtM2FjYi1hODZmLTdlZDM2ODk0NzYwZQRwb3MDNDcEc2VjA01lZGlhU3RvcnlMaXN0VGVtcAR2ZXIDMjFhMDk4MDAtOThkZS0xMWUxLTlkZmYtZmNjMmY5NWM3YzIz;_ylg=X3oDMTJjMWU1NzR2BGludGwDaGsEbGFuZwN6aC1oYW50LWhrBHBzdGFpZAMEcHN0Y2F0A.aWsOiBnummlumggXzmlrDogZ7nuL3opr0EcHQDc2VjdGlvbnM-;_ylv=3