The determination is now in; China’s elaborate move to claim control over much of the South China Seas is a clear violation of international law; so says the International Court @ The Hague who on July 12th rendered their decision over claims made by the Philippine Government. The “P.I.” is not alone in their position as several other Countries – Vietnam, Brunei, Malaysia and Taiwan – make similar claims which will likely tether China to further sanction by this International Court.
For the U.S., the only nation capable of a military show-of-force in opposition to China’s tenacious naval/military presence in the area and given that while the Court’s decision is legally binding it has no mechanism to enforce it, the likely course of action will be to continue and possibly expand its transitioning of naval vessels and aircraft over-flights along the course of the disputed area.
Though the Chinese are well aware of the U.S. military capabilities they are also heavily vested in asserting their self-ascending status as a global economic and military power. We observe this by their actions with N. Korea and Iran as well as their artful island building campaign in the S. China Sea. They are clearly willing to brashly extend well into the forum of calculated-risk.
Now, with the U.S. actively restoring a military presence in the Philippines under a new “Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement” (EDCA), it should be obvious that the law of unintended consequence will most likely test China’s doctrine and risk calculus. If there is to be such a thing as The Rule of Law, one which nations agree upon, then agreement must also be that The Law is also the Rule to be followed.
Curtis C. Greco, Founder