March 1, 2021
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Eluding solution
South China Sea and threat to stability in Asia Recognizing the gravity of the deepening crisis in the South China Sea, the world’s leading western powers have recently begun to speak out. During their latest summit in Germany, the Group of Seven (G7) leaders underlined the “importance of peaceful dispute settlement as well as free and unimpeded lawful use of the world’s oceans, and expressed how they strongly oppose the use of intimidation, coercion or force, as well as any unilateral actions that seek to change the status quo, such as large-scale land reclamation. Obviously, it was too diplomatically provocative to explicitly name China, but it was pretty clear which country the Western leaders had in mind. Over the past eighteen months alone, according to the Pentagon, China has reclaimed 1170 hectares on a whole host of dispute reefs and rocks, which, in the words of US Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter, is more than all other claimants’ [construction activities] combined and more than in the entire history of the region. In March 2015, Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) astonished the region and the broader international community when it chose to reveal its broad objectives in the South China Sea, providing the rationale behind its mind-boggling geo-engineering overhaul of the land features in the area. Beijing mentioned improving the working and living conditions of people stationed on these islands as among t
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