Our Boat Was Intercepted by China

China has been blocking fishermen from a reef near the Philippines for four years, in another flash point in the dispute over the South China Sea.

Comments: 189

  1. Sovereignty is always established by power.
    Why would China, the world's preeminent economy, block trading routes that provide access to its southern ports?
    The U.S. has legitimate concerns about its lack of influence in the world. These economic national concerns should not distort journalistic standards. Political entities have agendas; newspapers should not.

  2. The US is the world's preeminent economy. Not China.

  3. Suppose this were a dispute involving the Gulf of Mexico and the US vs. some other nation bordering on that body of water? How might we react to a Chinese navy claiming the right to police that area?

  4. Expecting China to ignore the ruling if, as expected, it is not favorable to China. Also expecting Chinese trolls to flood this NYT commentary site with belligerent and nonsense comment.

  5. Actually I find the comments supporting the US to be belligerent and nonsensical. Most comments supporting China seem to be less belligerent and along the lines of the US is not the Boss of China. Makes sense to me.

  6. I am not a Chinese troll; I am a old American who has seen war suck up more of our young men, our treasury, and anything not nailed down. The South China Sea was never ours.

  7. You forgot that NYT has its own filtering system. Also, it's pretty premature ato label others' comments as nonsense before see them.

  8. The PRC's refusal to acknowledge the widely accepted authority of the UN-appointed tribunal that adjudicates international disputes over maritime territory demonstrates to all that law, and international law at that, means nothing to the Chinese leadership.
    I've recently read that PRC media even now claims the US is somehow to blame for such a ruling, though the UN Tribunal is not a US court or under their jurisdiction.

  9. And what about the US? It picks and choses when it submits to international treaties and tribunals. Oh, but the US is special!

  10. Perhaps the Chinese Coast Guard would like to take their chances ramming a warship from the US Navy instead of a Filipino fishing boat.

  11. Perhaps US warships should keep their distance from China. I haven't seen many Chinese warships so close to the US and intervening in US disputes with other nations.

  12. The Chinese communist military has an unbroken string of brilliant victories against its own unarmed civilians. That's their comfort zone.

  13. I have seen video of a Russian coast guard ship ramming the back of a US naval ship on the Black Sea that had intruded into Russian territorial waters after repeated warnings from the Russians. Lots of false bravado in contemporary America. Several years ago, a former classmate at U.S. Air Force Academy posted photos of the F-22 on a class website and bragged how no one would mess around with the U.S. anymore. Comically, that particularly plane can't stay airborne and operational.

  14. It would be nice to have a peaceful "armada" of boats, sailboats and other water craft from nations all over the world peacefully navigating this area. We should also be calling the area discussed in the article "West Philippine Sea" instead of the "China Sea" to drive in the point. How about if Google Earth?

  15. To Viet Nam, it is the East Sea.

  16. Exactly SW. Also the North Indonesian Sea, West Malaysia Sea, etc.

    I think it up to the international community to take back the international waters en mass by freely navigating the waters anywhere in the South China Seas 12nm off any legitimate national coast.

    Hurray for the Hague court decision - the same court the USA does not recognize!

  17. China already allows international traffic to pass through its territorial water to the benefit of the area's economic development. It would welcome the armada of pleasure boats to enhance the area's tourism value. Already Chinese companies are selling tourism package to islands further north so your suggestion is most timely.

  18. See the drumbeat for war with China is picking up pace.

  19. The ME is no longer a profit center for the MIC. Now they are looking towards China. New aircraft carrier? More admirals?

  20. If I am MIC, I'll be pushing for a replacement for F-22 because F-35 is no match to Chinese and Russian jets and the F-22 in inventory is too few to be useful in war. Think of the hundreds of billions I'll be making. Yum.

  21. The Chinese regime's only hope of maintaining sufficient popular support, in the face of rampant internal corruption and an economy spiraling into the toilet, is to gin up patriotic fervor through increased international bluster and belligerence. In the end, that'll only make things worse, as other countries and corporations with any sense won't want to have anything more to do with China.

  22. As a Chinese person I wish to tell you the following: regardless of what government we have, our claim of SCS has been strongly backed by history and all of our 1.4 billion people. I suggest you to stop blaming China's regime -- if we were to have a referendum on the SCS issue I'm pretty sure an overwhelming amount of votes would go for taking down all the US warships in our sea.

  23. Beautiful article, wow! The confluence of video/narration & great writing is wonderful consumption :)

    Also, the implications of an aggressive China are not pleasant. For example. just look into the issues faced by India - The Chinese army has greatly infringed the north-eastern boundaries of India in a testing/menacing/teasing manner, similar to what they're doing to the South China sea.


  24. We are not going to get sucked into a dispute between India and China. Or between India and Pakistan. Or between the Saudis, Israelis and Iran. Enough. Our bridges are, literally, falling down.

  25. You will. Because it is of your best interest. A strong China is a threat. A strong Russia is a threat. A strong North Korea is a threat.

  26. A decrepit citizenry is a threat. Rot from within.

  27. Very interesting multimedia presentation. The reporter describes the shoal and islands in the S China sea as part of a struggle between China and the US. But it seems like the 'struggle' is actually China doing what it wants without fear of US repercussions. What is the US doing to counteract this unlawful taking of territory?

  28. The US is not the world's policeman, and certainly has little role in a dispute like this one off China's shore and involving Asian nations with long histories. Everywhere the US tries to play policeman, judge, jury and ultimately executioner, the world pays dearly. What is the US doing to counteract the unlawful taking of Palestinian land by Israel?

  29. Great way to tell a story NYT. Nice use of mixed media.

  30. That was an interesting piece, but it was completely one-sided without context and thus useless.

    Let's see. China establishes a presence on a couple disputed, uninhabited reefs. In contrast, we invade a country of 35 million people in Iraq and kill thousands of people over a decade, using over a million troops (cumulatively over time). Let's fix ourselves first before calling the kettle black.

    Let Japan and the Philippines and those countries take care of their own territorial problems over there. If they want us to handle it, sure, but they better pay up and allow us make a massive profit, per Trump's suggestion.

  31. Ray- your context is meaningless. Give me context that relates to this article. It is not quite one sided as the author explains that China's claims are based on old maps. But it is a short piece and so there is not much depth here. But there is not meant to be either.

  32. The idea that a country is exceptional and can make or break laws on a whim – whether American or Chinese – has consequences that are more often bad for everyone.

  33. Some noble whataboutery

  34. All the Chinese have to do is say that there are weapons of mass destruction on these shoals, and claim they are going in to occupy the shoals in order to keep the world safe.

    Works every time.

  35. The story is too one-sided to qualify as good journalism. China is not alone in building artificial islands out of reefs in this area of dispute. The difference is that China has outpaced the other countries in the last couple of years. U.S. has not even ratified the maritime treaty that it is imploring China to follow. So for the U.S. to argue that China should follow international law is just hypocrisy. The reality is that, China has taken too aggressive a stand in pushing for its sovereignty in this disputed area, while neglecting diplomacy to alleviate other nations' concerns and explain its positions, while the U.S. is only too happy to take advantage of the situation to try to build up a coalition to contain China's increasing influence. This is more about geopolitics and power rivalry, rather than who is right or wrong.

  36. Yup. The newspaper that played the mouthpiece for the neocons and military industrial complex's run up to the Iraq invasion continues to provide yeoman service to those who want to juice up the war machine and regime change profits. This newspaper's national pride driven preference for confrontation and soon with China is palpable and as irresponsible as it is morally bankrupt. We are fed and endless stream of highly selective and unbalanced stories demonizing and othering China. A constant drip of negative news playing its intended role. The scape goat is served. The disaffected agtated by their and their country's relative decline are distracted from their own domestic woes and eat it up. Hating is so satisfying. The Pacific Pivot has achieved its goal of kick starting the militarization of Asia and the profits have begun to roll in. South Korea buys a major US missile system. India is under pressure to do the same. The ban on arms sales to Vietnam lifted. We support a Japanese government that has ignored a majority of its population that have clearly stated they do not want to "play America's deputy Sheriff in Asia". The psychological ground work has been laid for another Gulf of Tonkin dispute or "Rememember the Maine". For what has become the US perpetual war machine and its cheerleaders and stenographers in the MSM faced with an angry gullable public spoiling for any enemy to vent their aggression this is almost too easy. "Fool me once"? More like constantly.

  37. For your information, the case involving China and the Philippines is being tried by an international tribunal based in the Netherlands, not the US.

    If you have a beef, take it up with them.

  38. For your information, a CIJ_ICJ judge is a Japanese right-wing Shinzo Abe supporter named Hisashi Owada. This whole case would have not come to light if not goaded on by the USA and Japan.

  39. Mark: That is good to know. The U.S. does not have jurisdiction over the whole ocean. Hope this is resolved peacefully.

  40. Interesting way to tell a story that the NY Times has been somewhat redundantly telling for the last couple of years. Although the Times has become more "objective" during the last few years in its reporting about China issues (i.e. once in awhile there's a positive story on China), the reporters still have a long way to go to portray current events about China in a way that promotes understanding of China and its people. Does the Times actually have Mandarin-speaking staff? That would be a good start. If the Times can get beyond the subtle biases of its reporting, there may be a more complete understanding of China's policies and deeper understanding about the vast nation. Apparently, China has claims to these waters that precede even Columbus' arrival in the Caribbean. I'm not sure that justifies its claims, but jurisdiction of the South China Sea precedes the first European contact in the Americas. Ironically, reporters from this, the New World, are heading to the ancient world to "investigate" their claims. I'm certainly not sure what the solutions are but simply making some observations.

  41. The Times has employees that speak Guo-yu and several other Chinese languages.

  42. I have a Chinese friend who was born in Shanghai; she is an engineer and owns her own condo in Queens, NY. She has always claimed that the South China Sea belonged to China. There seems to be a very long history there. What does the U.S. need there? We are an ally of the Philippines; however, are we willing to fight a proxy battle over this disputed ocean geography?

  43. The biased man will never able to realize he is biased; even when the truth is flat open in his face. This article's writer may think he is balanced, open-minded, and equal to both sides, but from the tone of this essay the author will never understand the real issue (the history, the wars, and the unjust dealings) from the Chinese perspective, which I also admit is unaviodbly biased. Of course, I am speaking as a Chinese. This is why I support China 1000% to be a military superpower. Muscle power is the final resolution for all hard disputes.

  44. As Master Kung wrote, might makes right.

  45. But why would past wrongs justify what China is doing? I understand the fact that there is inherent bias in every perspective, and I think the point of an international court is to help resolve disputes and cut through biases from both sides. Surely, there is a more enlightened perspective than just saying that it's inevitable to have biases and conflicts. Bear in mind: I'm not saying that the US is necessarily on higher moral ground - the US didn't even ratify these UN rules.

    It seems to me that building military bases on reefs within the territorial waters of a country is really hard to justify as legitimate. If the US went near China on some remote rock and installed military hardware, how would the Chinese react?

  46. I'm reading several books right now on the period 1932-1939 before WWII. One is Winston Churchill's history of the war. Churchill called WWII "The Unnecessary War" because the allies had every opportunity to prevent the Nazi government from rearming. The Nazi's were forbidden by treaty from rearming. The allies had plenty of ability to prevent it. But the will to actually do something simply wasn't there. So, bite by bite, Hitler created a new war machine from the ashes of the first World War.

    Then, as now, Russia played both sides against each other. Then, as now, Republicans opposed everything that a Democratic President - Roosevelt then - tried to do.

  47. Sounds kind of like what Hezbollah has been doing for years. The cease fire that both sides signed after the last Lebanon war mandated that there would be no rearming of Hezbollah of any kind. Within hours they started receiving rockets in violation of the cease fire terms. Another "Unnecessary War" in the making?

  48. It's naive to simply paint China as a ocean grabbing bully without knowing the history context. China have sailed to islands in South China Sea since ancient times. South China Sea officially became Chinese territory under the ruling of KMT, which was backed up by United States. Word maps published by United States, France, Russia, UK, Germany, Japan and even Vietnam during that time confirmed that South China Sea was indeed part of China. Then Chinese civil war came. KMT and the communists were busy fighting each other and had no man power to enforce its territorial claim down there. People in Southeast Asia had free use of that ocean until this day when China is ready to tighten up its claim. Since communist party defeated KMT, its taking over of South China Sea is not totally unfounded. Even KMT in Taiwan today still claim South China Sea is part of China - they just disagree on who is the legit China.

  49. "Word maps published by United States, France, Russia, UK, Germany, Japan and even Vietnam during that time confirmed that South China Sea was indeed part of China. "

    Really? Can you quote which ones? Most valid maps are titled, clearly certified and copyrighted.

  50. I am glad to see my country doing this. If the author of the news have sympathy for those fishermen, why not invite them to spread their net in Great Lakes? I wish the U.S. government would use water cannon rather than real cannons to point at those poor fishermen. You hold a severely biased opinion with an awful intention.

  51. The Great Lakes are not in international waters, are they?

  52. Nor is the territorial waters of China in South China Sea, 12 nautical miles from the baseline of Chinese islands.

  53. While this piece is just anecdotal, it puts its finger right on the substance of what's going on in the SCS: China does not accept the idea that any other country that touches that body of water has an EEZ, an area where it can fish and drill for oil. That's what the whole dispute is about, as far as I can see.

    As for Chinese claims that they are not interfering with freedom of navigation: umm, hello. running this boat out of the area is exactly not permitting freedom of navigation. the boat that the reporter was in was just a boat, not a special-purpose craft of any kind.

  54. Umm, hello? This boat could perfectly well sailed 12 nautical miles outside of the island; where it would have absolute freedom of navigation. The whole purpose of this trip was to provoke a reaction from China, and that's exactly what they got. Is this surprising?

    Why would China interfere with freedom of navigation in these waters? 70% of maritime traffic there deals exclusively of trade with China. It's in China's economic and political interest to keep these water open.

  55. Of course it's surprising. It would be surprising if a Norwegian vessel ran tourists away from the Great Barrier Reef off the coast of Sydney.

    The Chinese boats could likewise have stayed 12 nautical miles away from the island.

    No one accepts the narrative that these islands are part of Chinese territory. I mean: I realize that the Chinese do. No one else does.

  56. China's claim (PRC, KMT, Qing, Ming, Yuan, Song, Tang) goes back quite a bit further than the formation of UNCLOS -- about 2000 years further back. It doesn't matter if you accept the narrative or not, China will maintain it's territorial integrity.

    This whole case is a stunt run by the Americans and Japanese. The lawyers representing Philippines came from US law firm Foley Hoag. The presiding judge is a Japanese who hand picked the 4 other judges (all European).

    Duterte is no fool. He's not going to be a pawn in this like the former president.

  57. Interesting that the ship the reporter was on was using a flag of convenience.

  58. Just the title of this article is a turn off - OMG - is this some high school project or a lame propaganda piece to try and make China look like the evil empire? I thought the US has made its claim to that title, and I didn't think it needed the NYT to sophomorically attempt to make China look bad. No information, just an agenda - on the front page of the NYT no less!

  59. This is true journalism... the US never made the title to the West Philippine Sea or South China Sea whatever is called.

    If you've studied world history, you can easily tell that nearly all countries signed on a treaty called UNCLOS in 1982 that gives each country an entitlement to their own piece of fair-shared land. While you guys are still rambling about your rights to claim the entire thing, remember that you guys have a big share of land already, and also a share of some of the islands along with the other countries.

    Your so called "ancient maps" can't change the fact the entire world signed a treaty for equal marinetime/land rights

  60. Yes, we did intercepted your boat. So what? We just protect our own territory. we have displayed a plenty of evidences to prove our stance. The old maps, including Chinese and other countries, can tell. However, in the article, you draw China a trouble maker, no any logic evidence displayed. It's full of bias. As a Chinese, I can not accept the criticize.

  61. You can not accept criticism? Yes, that sounds about right.

  62. I am here to tell you, whatever you said amd wound say, ii's your freedom, and we are also free to take back what once belonged to us China. You can speak freely, We can take freely.

  63. No, you did not present any evidence. You boycotted the arbitration, remember?

  64. I admire the journalist and his company's dauntlessness. As a person always focusing on the issue, I have 2 points to share.
    1. Philippines closes the door of negotiation unilaterally.
    Philippines declared that "it's impossible to continue bilateral discussions with China" unilaterally and initiated arbitration on July 15, 2013, while Vietnam and Malaysia carried on the bilateral negotiations with China.
    In fact, "China has been trying to negotiate with the Philippines, but the Philippines has been no response." said from Alberto Encomienda, former secretary-general of the Maritime Center of the Philippine Foreign Affairs Department. Was the terms given by China to Philippine different from others? Or Philippine wanted more than Vietnam and Malaysia?
    2、External forces have no use but the regional tensions.
    Later on, Philippines introduced external forces in the South China Sea issue, like US, Japan, India, and international tribunals.
    What's the meaning of arbitration? The premise is that both parties have the will. Philippines would like to arbitrate, China doesn't, and can this be the arbitration? Of course, there is the compulsory arbitration. But there is no legal jurisdiction of maritime convention on the territorial sovereignty.
    In 1986 Hague International Court decided against US, but there was no use.
    As shown in the media, the fishermen cannot continue their eternal wondrous life. More involved countries always mean more tensions and more conflicts.

  65. It`s so called "South China Sea", so what can I expect?
    We all have our own country, we all have different choices and views, but we all hope there is no war.

  66. Indian Ocean is not owned by India.

  67. China is a growing power controlled by corrupt thugs; everyone outside of China (and many inside China) know that. Of course, the paid Chinese spammers to these forums will claim otherwise;disregard them.

    There is an old Chinese saying: "Act first, apologize later". This recent spat of the South China Sea is a perfect example of that philosophy. In no way should the UN or any other world power let China get away with this.

    If necessary, slap sanctions on China.

    Incidentally., America and its allies are not saints, either, but in no way does the West even come close to the absolute lack of transparency; unbridled corruption; outright deception and lying; and, abuse of its own people that China engages in. Of course, China's paid spammers to this forum will disagree, but the rest of the world all know the truth.

    Imagine a nation that jails and kills people for their spiritual beliefs; that lets corruption infect its food supply; that permits corrupt military leaders toown shares in factories; that slaughters prisoners for body parts (organs); that openly supports barbaric North Korea; and so on. This is who we are dealing with, and I knew that America would eventually rue the day that we began to offshore our factories and technology to China. This latest effort at military expansion is part of that; we have emboldened the Chinese by helping their corrupt military and leadership to get rich.

  68. Hey, you have already agreed that china has "the absolute lack of transparency", then how could you make sure the information you listed below is correct? Since there's no transparency, you cannot possibly get first-hand information, and cannot know if you were fooled by western propaganda too.

  69. I'm sorry to say this but don't get me wrong I think it's Vice Versa. Western Propaganda? Seriously?

  70. The West does have propaganda; all nations do. That said, China stands alone among nations for abuse of its citizens, denial of human rights, and so on. For instance, if you were in China (you probably are, and most likely paid by the Chinese government to make your post), you would not be able to read this NYT article!

    What nation in its right mind would support North Korea? That's China! I feel sorry for the Chinese people, who live under the paranoid rule of it's autocratic, corrupt leadership.

  71. China - sorry...correction...The CCP - says it has maps from many, many years ago claiming these little specks were a part of China. Under the Qing or Ming Dynasties, no doubt.

    The CCP came into power less than 70 years ago. They have NO claim. Done.

  72. While the article has wonderful multi-media presentation, I do agree with some other readers that this is highly biased. Why not insert some old maps? What are the opinions from other countries that are not involved in this dispute? I am not kidding you the old maps from 1930 at Harvard University will show you the territory in dispute belonged to China was legit by then. What were Phillipine fisherman doing at that time? The reserch is done by a non-Chinese with a biased tone and word choice. Or at least, I should say it's not nuetural enough to elaborate on both sides.

  73. Old maps are not accepted; history is not a valid support and even old maps will go against China. European Union and G7 are not inclined to China.

  74. So why would the Chinese care about decisions made by Europeans and G7? As for "history is not valid support", Israel is an example of a country created by "historic" validation; created by the US and the Europeans.

  75. If interested in the issue beyond us/them approach it is worth reading the official Chinese position on China Sea dispute as it gives the legal reasoning behind the rejection of The Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague as agent in dispute: http://www.fmprc.gov.cn/mfa_eng/zxxx_662805/t1217147.shtml
    The Arbitration decision will be issued today. NYTimes article a little tacky but in the spirit of its confrontational coverage that sells news papers or on-line advertising?

  76. China is an energy poor nation, they need that offshore oil. One true weakness of the regime going forward into the 21st century is lack of raw resources. The mainland is running low on everything, from fresh water, healthy arable land, to key minerals such as uranium for nuclear power. Contrast to the US, which now has the largest energy reserves on the planet (combine with Canada and N America is undisputed energy superpower). To maintain world peace, it is imperative the US work with key democratic Asian allies, bolstering their defences, and increase trade. It really is that simple.

  77. #CHexit the Philippines.
    The time is now.

  78. Finders keepers, losers weepers. If everybody was so passionate about these islands, why didn't they lay claim them before China? The world is dynamic and so are territories.

  79. Overall, it is the war of press between Mainland China and Philippines and United States. Well, after watching this video, I think that US wins 'cause it has all sorts of more organized preparations, conspiracy theories against China diplomacy and law and propoganda.

  80. Just what are these "maps" that so many of you, chinese, are referring to? Who published them? Publishers clearly mark, certify and copyright their maps.

    Anyway, when I think of old maps of Africa, for instance, no one seems to be jousting for territory based on what was printed on "old maps from ______ era."

  81. Why is the boat flying the flag of Belize? Maybe this is explained somewhere, but I find it odd and a bit distracting.

  82. I was wondering the same thing. Belize has a close relationship with Taiwan, perhaps there is a connection there?

  83. It's a common 'flag of convenience' for cargo and fishing vessels to avoid taxes, registration requirements, etc. And yes to sometimes cover up illegal activity. Belize seems to be one of the more popular flags of convenience.

  84. President Xi has turned over a new leaf when it comes to World diplomacy, corruption and human rights in China but he is still allowing the genocide of the tens of millions of innocent Falun Gong practitioners to continue with torture, slavery, organ harvesting and murder still abundant. Hopefully this will change soon and the ones who have committed the atrocites will be held responsible.

  85. I've just read an article side by side this column lament for "Wages for many Americans have gone nowhere for too long". Asking why? Evidently, you people spent billions and billions dollars on your army, on the war ,on the interfering other countries business in the name of whatever you like. Wake up, people of America, looking around the world we are living in,it's a world people cherish the peace and work very hard for their prosperity.Now let's check what U.S doing,stir up territory tension than and selling weapon around ...No wondering you guys have lost your patient about your stagnate wages.

  86. Interesting that some of the writing on the Chinese ship was in English.

  87. What is the problem of fishermen work there? We need to share the things, the sea is big, full of riches, there is no problem if a philipine, chinese or american want to cross it.

  88. "Our Boat Was Intercepted by China"

    You're going to need a bigger boat.

  89. What was your boat doing there and how much you got paid.
    How would you like Chinese boats on your shores. America looking for enemy to fight may be they will get this time.

  90. You are confused - the Chinese were right off the coast of the Philippines, thousands of miles from mainland China....and claiming land that was never Chinese. It's called a 'land grab'.

  91. I mean, just look what they did to the Tibetans. Why wouldn't China behave this way to everyone else? Arrogant, belligerent, militant, and armed with a legion of internet trolls (even right here in this comment thread).

  92. They might say the same of us in the way we treated some of our own.

  93. Just as we did to the American Indians and native Hawaiians. The British did to the Australian aborigines and other former colonies. That is how a strong nation grows and gets into war.

  94. I mean, just look what they did to the Native Americans. Why wouldn't America behave this way to everyone else? Arrogant, belligerent, militant, and armed with a legion of internet trolls (even right here in this comment thread).

  95. I view this as a wonderful outcome for the rights of all peoples to have equal access to this food source.

    I view this on a much broader level as well. Our government sees China as a major future threat to our control of the region locally and more broadly, the world. We own it which is why taxpayer money must be lavished on our military force way, way, way beyond what is necessary for the security of our home borders- literally. President Obama not too long ago said it nonchalantly: we must guide China’s entry into the world arena- in other words, our sandbox.

    We annexed the Philippines long ago and their victory serves as a proxy for us in the larger political power game of dominance over the world which is not to deny the importance of the fishing issue. We’ve been using ships in our navy close to China’s borders as a kind of taunt and reminder of who’s in charge. We can only go so far as an irritant because as much as the executive office has shown a remarkable propensity to reveal its stupidity and inability to learn lessons by using our bloated military force, they are not about to take on China as another weak defenseless nation such as Iraq and Afghanistan, Somalia, Libya and on and on.

    China should do as we have done since the end of WWII. Exempt themselves from international law and any semblance of morality and do as they wish wherever and whenever they please regardless of world opinion or consequences.

  96. I am a collector of old maps.

    Having several old maps of China, 1600s+, there is not one that includes anything close to the nine dash line. They usually end just around Hainan. Granted, these are European maps.

    It is also noteworthy, that it was not until after the creation of the nine dash line theory China is using, just a few years ago, that they even bothered to create a map including that region. Their official maps did not include this region.

    China has chosen the South China Sea for their coming out party as a global military power and are announcing it with a land grab that is almost impossible to undo.

  97. Ken wrote:
    "China . . . are announcing it with a land grab that is almost impossible to undo."

    I recall recently hearing one of our military say on a news show that it would take our military 30 minutes to remove any of those artificial islands from the surface of the sea. So, politically it might be touchy, but militarily it is trivial.

  98. Unfortunately, it's not trivial. These bases are not being built to intimidate the United States. They're instead being built to intimidate the much less capable militaries of China's poorer, smaller neighbor's like the Philippines, Vietnam and Malaysia. China is calculating that the United States won't go to war to protect their territorial claims, and those countries themselves don't have the resource to resist their bullying.

  99. The question is are you willing to risk war with China over this? Bombing the islands, while technically feasible, would trigger a response for sure.

    China has calculated that we will not.

  100. This is the first time in recent memory that another territorial dispute (aside from the one in the Middle East that has dominated our time and energy for years) which has finally made it on to Page One of the NY Times. There are plenty of unresolved tugs of war over land, water and resources all over the world that are also clamoring for attention. So how come this problem isn't considered some dire threat to world peace?? How come Secretary of State Kerry isn't rushing to Bejing to demand that China make all sorts of absurd concessions??

  101. The coverage of China by the Times is appalling. One negative article after another, never a mention of the fact that it has lifted 600 million people out of poverty the last few decades, while in the same time period we have seen our own middle class shrink to become a minority of the population for the first times since the New Deal. China has maintained that it will not honor the Hague decision and that this issue should be settled by bilateral negotiations, not by a third party, thus the Times' article is published to coincide with the decision from the Hague. Moreove, the Obama administrations's insertion of the United States. which is not a signatory of The Law of the Seas, into this issue is an outrage and transparent attempt to intensify and militarize this dispute. One can expect the administration to quickly begin using the Hague decision as a red flag. Fortunately, the government of the Philipines newly elected president, Rodrigo Duterte, is seeking to avoid conflict with China and instead is intent on tackling terrorism in his own country, Undoubtedly, he will be heavily pressured by Washington to instead pursue a course of confrontation with China in the South China Sea.

  102. China occupied Tibet, declared a pious person like Dalai-Lama as anti-national, threatens Taiwan everyday, supports rogue countries like Pakistan and North Korea and supplies military/nuclear technology to those countries, does illegal activities in South China Sea, doesn't get along well with many of its neighbors including Japan, etc.

    China is an international outlaw and a rogue country. Like minded countries should come together and stop China.

  103. The US occupied Afghanistan, overthrew a democratically elected president like Allende, threatens Taiwan everyday, supports rogue countries like Saudi Arabia and supplies military/nuclear technology to Israel, performs illegal surveillance on its citizens as well as foreigners, didn't get along well with its neighbors including Cuba, Nicaragua, Venezuela, etc.

    The US is an international outlaw and a rogue country. Like minded countries should come together and stop the US.

  104. I agree - but the U.S. history of crimes and transgressions under Nixon and Reagan do not argue well for Chinese equivalency. And the Philippines are the ones who pressed this case. Vietnam also has gripes with China. To be fair, Mexico, Panama, Guyana, Venezuela and Cuba have had legitimate gripes with the U.S.

  105. What a touching story!!!
    "It was a beautiful place, where people in Philippine spent their happy times and fished for their families; however, their peaceful and happy life ended because China, the MONSTER, drove them away from this legendary area. I, as a kind American person, certainly support these people as my country does. So I got on their boat, as the only one from the civilized country, and saw these monster guard boats with terrifying weapons sailing towards us, and THEY TOOK PICTURES OF US!!! The fear of being taken pictures reminds me that China has become strong in economics and surely they will become strong in military force even though their military expenditures are less than a quarter of ours. American people, pls look at the map, the area is so close to Philippine and far from China, so how could it belong to China? (Forget Hawaii for a second) These are everything I want to tell the readers. What I have omitted is that I can't tell which country really owns this area, but it doesn't matter to me. As long as I fight against China (Communist, Dictator, Monster, Enemy, Threat), I am a hero, the savior of the poor people, the fighter of human right, and the winner of Pulitzer Prize (delete the last one). So my beloved readers, please share this interactive presentation and let us all be saviors of this world! (Including Iraq, Syria and other places I cannot recall). PEACE!!!"

  106. Tangled web, trade "agreements".
    Who agreed? The demonstrators in Seattle were beaten senseless by Robo Cops as they protested WTO ?
    Who agreed to NAFTA? The big box stores? The traitors who quickly closed factories in America and moved our manufacturing base to China?
    China is now a giant manufacturing nation. That is what we were during WW2. Now our people serve fries while the Chinese make everything and sell it to us.
    But the 1% sure did cash in. And now the world reaps what the "agreements" sowed.
    Anyone who trusts China after they invaded Tibet is a fool.
    Over a hundred Tibetan monks have self immolated protesting the Chinese occupation of their land.
    China, Get out of Tibet !! Leave them alone.

  107. So how about tariffs to bring back manufacturing to the US. They will have to be imposed over time, the will make stuff more expensive. How about keeping our jobs for our citizens by keeping illegals out of our country and removing some of those who are here.

  108. Remind me again what free trade has done for the world other than give more power to repressive regimes with values that run counter to the West...

  109. This whole affair is embarrassing for the Chinese government. Especially when you take a look at the map and see how close Scarborough Shoal is to the Philippine coast. Its one thing to assert military might but denying Philippine fishermen access to their local share of the sea's bounty is just selfish and cruel.

  110. Interesting, maybe Britain should also give the Falkland Islands to Argentina, and Germany should invade Austria again for it's being too close to Germany and the population are consist of a lot of Germans. Why only comes to China did you think it's selfish and cruel? Please judge this issue with a unbiased mind.

  111. Closeness to another country doesn't matter. China was the first to navigate these seas and claim these islands.

    China has more credible claims to South China Sea islands than US claims to say Guam, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, or western half of USA.

  112. Once again another example that proves humanity is a blight on this planet.

  113. This should be a teachable moment for China. Stop undermining world order! From bribing government officials in Africa to starting parallel development banks with loose regulations China is playing a destructive role on the world stage. South China Sea is where it could turn into a hot war.

  114. Well, surely they'll close up shop on those islands now that we have the ruling from the Hague, right?

  115. Paper tiger. Wait ten years - their economy and political stability will implode from debt and demographic issues - an aging population with no one to support it and unstainable levels of regional debt. That is why every Chinese citizen with any money at all is taking it out of the country to US, Canada, or anywhere else. They know what is going to happen.

  116. You are spot on. It is reported that in 2015 as much as $1 trillion left China by the elites. In China's race against time they just might lose.

  117. Let's wait then. This kind of prediction has been circulating for almost 30 years and it's gradually getting as hilarious as those doomsday predictions.

  118. dt - Well then you have more faith in China than the Chinese do. Maybe you know something they don't. Because they are trying to get out of China with their money and families as fast as they can.

  119. China’s nine-dash line, which was first put forth in the years before the Chinese Communist Party’s victory in 1949 was never an issue with the United States, and there were no cold-war notions of China Encirclement. The R.O.C. like the PRC treat it as valid based on historical documents. But the world moves on.
    It is worth reading the official Chinese position as it gives the legal reasoning behind the rejection of The Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague as agent in dispute: http://www.fmprc.gov.cn/mfa_eng/zxxx_662805/t1217147.shtml

    Now China’s reaction will reflect the leaderships concerns: Military as they view America’s intentions as Encirclement making and restoring military arrangements under ‘Pivot to Asia’ and reasons to strengthen defensive outpost. And Economic concerning relations with their numerous neighbors important to them in a growing Asian economic interdependence.
    “The commonsense truth is that while leaders talk about “red lines” for public consumption, and navies come dangerously close to trading direct fire, the stock markets churn forward, knowing that there are two kinds of mutually assured destruction at play: military and economic.”
    (Parag Khanna,. Connectography: Mapping the Future of Global Civilization.)
    A long story, if we are lucky.

  120. Dear Mr. Hernández and Ponomarev,

    I realize neither you nor anyone at the NY Times knows this.

    But The People's Republic of China is an absolutist dictatorship run by Chairman Xi and the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party run like a large American corporation.

    And having turned OUR economies over to the Chinese state, which mixes the worst aspects of Communism and Capitalism in a perfect mix, and having sent most of OUR jobs to China (Thank you Bill Clinton), what do OUR leaders, Republicans and Democrats, accept to be able to do about China?

    Trump is a hypocrite and a liar, of course, who will find a way to get into bed with the Chinese communists.

    But sadly his rhetoric on China is true.

  121. "absolutist dictatorship"? I think this word better describes some of the USA's current and former closest allies such as Pinochet's Chile and Saudi Arabia.

  122. DT, tell us why the Chinese have no friends or allies in the entire world? Any country that does business with China soon sours on their predatory practices. Like the theft of the fishing areas in Eastern Africa.

  123. Jack, you do know something like 90 countries voiced support for China that the tribunal have no jurisdiction in this dispute right?

  124. The Nine-Dash Line argument that China presents is a major fallacy. Those countries whom China is bullying need America's help, and I'm glad the 7th Fleet is around to keep things in check.

  125. Nixon’s & Kissenger Plan to open our markets to China during the Cold War seemed at the time as a brilliant plan to avoid conflict with China & for a time it reduced the hostilities between us, & split the Russian Chinese alliance.However like everything that man creates it must evolve or grow stagnate & rot.We are responsible for creating the Chinese monster. When the Cold War broke in our favor we continued to allow Chinese Imports to flood our markets and eliminate our light industry. We did nothing when they locked their currency into ours & kept is lower than our dollar, so as to make American products non competitive.Now that they have become a Super power on the bodies of our industries they no longer need us, & are demonstrating it by their aggressive behavior in the South China Sea.We now have a cat by the tail & can’t let go, & it’s too late to evolve.It’s another example of our short sighted policies, We are still involved in the middle east & arming the Iraqis & Afghanistan, which will eventually be turned against us.
    We just can’t seem to learn by our past mistakes.

  126. The split between the Soviet Union and China had started long before Nixon's visit to China in 1972. Actually the two countries were almost at war in 1969. Nixon and Kissenger viewed China as a potential partner to contain the Russians, whose strength was at its peak due to the USA's miserable failure in Vietnam in late 1960s and 1970s.

  127. Interesting thoughts but maybe the wrong villains. It was the ‘employers’ as they like to call themselves who fired their workers and rushed to make deals with the Taiwan and Hong Kong firms that were opening in PRC for cheap labor, the CEOs reaped the benefits by selling imports as did the stockholders. The Chinese battling fishermen viewed as aggressive behavior compared with a county in a state of perpetual war in one region after another with military in 120 countries and counting. America may be the villain letting its middle class disappear so the 1% could soar and creating the discontent easy to find today in the Times headlines. Wall St. loves China and is now courting Vietnam, another communist country.

  128. wsmrer,
    No matter who got the ball rolling, Nixon opened the door.As I said above, it was greatly accepted by the western world as a path to peace.He killed a few enemies in the process ,such as the Unions, & opened the Door to the Fat Cats to reap billions.Your correct the CEOs profited greatly, & the 2% that Sanders vilified, had a hay day.

  129. This is the very reason we've had World Wars. International courts and treaties means nothing to a country that is expanding it's borders for economic reasons especially If that country has a strong military. We've seen this in the past with Germany, Japan and Russia. The only thing that may keep this from becoming hostile is the significant trade imbalance with the US. It's situations like this that requires a US President with a steady hand.

  130. Fascinating how you left the U.S. (and Britain vs. Argentina, for that matter) out of that list. Convenient, lol~

  131. Expanding its borders? Really. China,which has claimed these islands since the 9th century, has not a single military base outside its own country, while we maintain over 1,000. Can you imagine the reaction were a Chinese warship to sail within 12 miles of our Atlantic or Pacific coast? The world really needs and would welcome cooperation, not confrontation, between its two largest economies.

  132. Unless I've missed something in my world history classes the US and Great Britain have never started a World War.

  133. Fascinating story. And an interesting international development to watch. I had wondered how, practically speaking, China treats boats coming into their claimed waters. The reporter here actually went out to see what happens. Much better than guessing and supposition.

  134. The graphic on the homepage of NYTimes made me seasick

  135. It's startling, to read so many comments framing this very interesting story as anti-Chinese propaganda. Perhaps journalism has become so degraded in this era of the amateur and partisan news hound that some people have forgotten how the professionals are supposed to do it.

    Mr. Hernandez heard from a number of sources that Chinese ships were harassing fishermen and other boaters who approached the Scarborough Shoal. So he decided to see for himself. Right on cue, the Chinese Coast Guard appeared and silently bullied his boat until it left the area. On the way back, he interviewed fishermen who described similar encounters with the Chinese.

    This is what a reporter is supposed to do; go to the source of the story, verify the details and bear witness to what you find. That's not propaganda, that's journalism--it's a dying art, and one we should strive to preserve, BTW.

    You can draw equivalencies, with varying degrees of accuracy, between China's behavior in the South Sea and US activities in other parts of the world. They don't erase the simple fact that the stories about boaters being chased away from Scarborough by the Chinese are true--and what are we going to do about that?

  136. We the US are going to do nothing, since nothing that we might do is worth the cost or would be ineffective.

  137. I would suggest the Chinese Coast Guard arrest the poacher & smugglers and impound their boats next time so NYTimes learn not to utilize illegal means to gain access to an area.

  138. You seem to speak with the voice of a Chinese government advocate of military aggression more than as a 'historian.' Threatening journalists is never a good way to make a point to a free press.

  139. Next time, to be objective, I suggest you rent a boat in Mauritius Island and try to go sight seeing near Chagos islands.

    For those who wonder what I am talking about, this is the real name of Diego Garcia, an island emptied from its original occupants so that the US Navy / Air Force could build a strategic base : remind you of something ?

    The problem with the USA is that they did all those things they do not like others doing ...

  140. In an earlier post, I noted that both Germany and Japan built a massive war foundation in the 1930's by simply ignoring international bodies (Geneva Disarmament Conference, League of Nations).

    In a way, the United States was worse. We refused to participate officially from the outset. (We sent observers.) The Senate (Republicans ... natch) refused to ratify treaties after they had been negotiated. Churchill noted that it was cold comfort to European allies when they were told that they should have simply been more aware of constitutional law in the US.

  141. Stop or reduce buying Chinese made things. I know that is much harder than it sounds simply because many many of our US industries ran and or run salivating over lower labor cost and a serious lack of environmental laws that can reduce profits, but, there you go.

    If you don't like this aggressive behavior that is also extremely damaging to both regional peace and the environment, read where something is made. Try to support American when you can. For gosh sakes, stop being swayed by dirt cheap prices and think of the big picture. China will react when it hits them in the checkbook hard enough.

  142. So perhaps vote for Trump who will want to apply tariffs that will eliminate or reduce the cost difference.

  143. I agree.

    What can we do to help these fishermen?
    What can we do to keep the CENTURIES-old corals from being pulverized into cement ingredient?
    South China Sea is a far far far away place.

    Just LOOK at the label.

    Next time you go to Walmart, ( or Amazon)
    Know where is it made,
    And there, I believe, we can cast our VOTE.

    Imo, There is an an invisible "world election" going on daily by the cashiers:
    1. Rules-based. OR
    2. It's all about me.

  144. Applying China's logic for its claims over the S. China Sea, I recently saw a map of the United States from the 1840s where the Oregon Territory extended to include most of what now constitutes British Columbia. I love the Pacific Northwest and wish it were all part of the United States. I'm pretty sure Canada is too small in the end to resist our aggression, so I think we should start building military bases on Vancouver Island.

  145. In the 1840 Philippines doesn't exist as a nation, neither were Malaysia and Indonesia as all three were colonial holding or tribal lands. The only country with historical claim are China (Qing), Vietnam (Annam) and Brunei and Brunei lost sovereignty in a few years to the British and Vietnam was a Chinese tributary.

    And just so you know, Oregon Territory was claimed by the US, UK and Russia. France and Spain's claim was dropped earlier.

  146. Don't forget, you Yanks purchased Alaska for a bargain basement price from the crumbling Russian Empire. ;)

  147. And to Amateur Historian - and what was China doing in 1840? Not to open a can of worms. But the PRC is a recent invention. Free Tibet!!

  148. China's rejection of the Hague today is similar to the suicidal trajectory taken by Japan in 1934 when it refused to abide by the Naval Treaty of 1922's Washington Agreement.

    China can simply exist and it is so huge it will not be infringed. But, the pathology of large navies and armies in bureaucracy is that they always jockey to expand power until they feel forced to use it and then the trajectory of assertion sets inevitable conflict in motion if international treaties are to be honored.

  149. Both Germany and Japan simply walked out of the Geneva Disarmament Conference and the League of Nations in 1933. Germany had achieved most of it's goals in 1932 by threatening to ignore the rest of the world. The other nations coaxed Germany back to the negotiating table by giving them most of what they wanted. Then they simply walked out again.

    We all know how well that worked out.

  150. You are confusing the type of cases. Japan was part of the Washington Naval Treaty, in fact, it was the reason the treaty existed, to limit Japan. When Japan withdrew from the treaty, it indicates it is no longer bind by the treaty.

    China isn't part of this tribunal's proceeding because China correctly pointed out the tribunal doesn't have jurisdiction to rule on national sovereignty issue. China is still part of the International Tribunal (unlike the US) and will participate in its function as defined by its charter. Philippines essentially bought the case to the wrong court.

  151. Led by Warren Harding, the Republican Congress failed to ratify the Treaty of Versailles or join the League of Nations. That put the United States at a distinct moral and diplomatic disadvantage that jerks like Trump propose to replicate.

  152. OK...but, there are Chinese fishermen who have fished for generations in that part of Pacific Ocean. Can those Chinese complain internationally if they are not allowed to fish in the South China Sea anymore because they are Chinese and they got better boats?

  153. I think the point of the arbitration is that the Philippines was asking the tribunal to declare that the disputed area is not exclusive to any country (which is what China was doing by restricting non-Chinese fishermen to approach the disputed islands).

  154. Indeed, China has become more aggressive and stronger in the past three decades. It began to pick up many disputable issues it tried to avoid in the past. Senkaku (Diaoyu) Islands dispute, Phillipines islands dispute, Viet Nam Gulf of Tonkin (Beibu Gulf), etc.

    But how do we analyze all these sovereignty issues rationally? Why did all these issues gain much concern from the international society?

    China is rising at a speed and growing to a scale that ASEAN countries cannot negotiate with it equally. So ASEAN have to make it internationally, inviting the US in the game, as Viet Nam did, or go to Hague. Making the issues internationalized will increase the bargaining power against China and also the difficulty of solving the problem. Now we all agree that, as long as China denies Hague's decision, Hague doesn't help solving the problem pragmatically. It is supposed to be a peaceful bilateral direct talk.

    As the world's largest super power, the US begins to fear the irreversible consequence of its loss in controlling and bargaining power. Obviously, this is not a case between China and Philippines. It is between China and US. We cannot deny that there were many similar narratives in history during the shifting period of super powers. When standing on the moral high ground, we should wait for the history to judge.

  155. Good post. Just to point out something, the three disputes you mentions aren't new. Hong Kong and Taiwan have been fighting to keep the islands Chinese for decades. It is just now Beijing can step up enforcement of those claims. It is also making headlines because American paper like to report it for obvious reasons.

  156. The Hague is the World Court of the United Nations. China has a representative on it. Judge Xue Hanqin. It is ridiculous and misrepresenting the history of the court to pretend it is some outside body. It is mutually consensual forum for peacefully resolving such disputes. Amateur Historian seems to want to post information that is not accurate in conveying the impression that China never agreed to be bound by World Court and UN decisions. In becoming a World Trading Partner and G7 economic partner with the currency and trade privileges that accrue thereto, it also agreed to be so bound. So this is pure smoke and puffery that they are not bound by the Hague.

  157. Has anyone else noticed that it is the South CHINA Sea, not the South AMERICAN Sea?

  158. Pretty much the same mindset of Neville Chamberlain. The world understands the danger of appeasement of tyrannical brutes. No, we're in no mood just to stand aside while we witness the rape of the world's freedoms and resources by an increasingly aggressive China.

  159. The US is the tyrannical bully in the world. How would we feel if China were conducting naval operations in the Gulf of Mexico?

  160. The South China Sea was named that arbitrarily because of it's proximity to China. The name doesn't confer ownership. It could have just as easily been named the Vietnam Sea. The Indian Ocean isn't owned by India either.

  161. There are more resources in Mongolia. China should claim it back NOW!

  162. The "International Tribunal' at the Hague??? Five biased judges who are under the influence of the the US, ???, the same US who has committed itself to containing or limiting the natural growth of China, those five men, whoever they are, are going to decide the future of some one and a half billion people???, that's funny. Don't forget this thing about saving face all you smart boy's, it's a reality, and we don't need another major war to deal with. Remember the mess we have made in the Middle East, China can fight back, and just maybe whip us on their side of the globe.

  163. Bellah - The 'International Tribune at the Hague is a branch of the UN. Xue Hanqin, a Shanghai Chinese Judge sits on the Tribunal representing China. Russia, France, England, and the U.S. are also represented. They ruled against China. Your objections are therefore ill informed.

  164. My view is that China wants this area, has a strong military, and nobody will do much if anything about it. Would we like to go to war over this? Answer that and you know what to do with this story.

  165. This case was headed by an American lawyer (Paul Reichler) and four other American and British lawyers. The case was headed by a Japanese judge who handed picked the four other presiding judges (all European). Both countries have bones to pick with China, so the outcome should not be a surprise to anyone.

  166. It's rather insulting that you don't believe judges can be impartial. Where would you like the judges to be chosen from? What would satisfy you?

  167. PCA has no relation to the UN or ICJ. It's a shame you do not even do the slightest homework to see what forces and motivations are behind this case.

    In short, this is a case China did not participate in, does not accept simply because PCA has no jurisdiction in this matter of sovereignty. Do your self some justice and do an online search before you reply with sniping remarks.

    The Japanese ambassador asked support for the results of the case (where he specifically mentioned China losing) from Cambodia a month before the case was decided. How's that for impartially?

  168. The question our current president, for sure the next, will have to ask -- Is our country willing to risk a military confrontation with China over their belligerent expansion in the South China Sea? If we as a country have a vital interest worth defending it is freedom of the high seas.

  169. Although not the only or major cause for the Chinese grab for territory, facilities and resources in the South China Sea, there is one other key point. The U. S. Military has been building-up forces and access to facilities in the Philippines. Bach in the 1980s, the Subic Bay Naval Base and Clark Air Force Base were two of our very largest overseas military installations.

    Recently, through joint American-Filopino agreements, we have been ramping-up art forces at those two bases--just north of Manila. They w3ere vital components to the U. S. during the Vietnam War, and will certainly be a valuable asset in the Pacific Pivot.

    It is most interesting that the Shoals in this legal battle can provide China with an interesting listening and observation point for keeping track of U. S. activities from these bases, as well as the Philippines, in general.


  170. Can someone explain why there is a Belizean flag flying on the ship?
    I'm curious... This is very far away from the Caribbean.

  171. well you know... ships are made to go on oceans and on seas .. they travel around..plenty of chinese boats in the port of san fancisco/oakland

  172. Might be registered to Belize or like most poacher and smugglers, multiple flags to avoid being caught. NYTimes should really consider going on a Chinese coast guard ship next time.

  173. Ships register where rates are most favorable. This is a straw dog issue, which is designed to ignore the elephant in the room, which is that these have been recognized as international waters, not sovereign Chinese territory as aggressively asserted by China -and posters here like 'Amateur Historian.'

  174. NYTimes should really go there on a Chinese coast guard boat instead of a Filipinos poacher's boat. I know sometimes journalists aren't allowed in conflict areas but that's really not an excuse to employ criminal elements to get a story. Syrian War comes to mind. The "moderate rebel" that supplied NYTimes with stories turned out to be ISIS and NYTimes being played for propaganda value.

  175. @AmateurHistorian - you seem to speak more from active interest and advocacy than historic accuracy. Your claim that China is not under the Hague's jurisdiction on international waters issues is an ipso facto absurdum argument - and also ignores the fact that China has accepted participation in the Court and should therefore accept its opinion.

    Xue Hanqin is China's judge and rep on the court - and she is well familiar with the issues at hand and the history behind it. I describe her history and qualifications in another post here.

  176. I have to question the professionalism of the moderator of the comments here. All the articles chosen by the moderator side unquestioningly with the US and the Philippines, while completely ignoring comments which try to explain the Chinese perspective. How is this supposed to be informative to the reader?

  177. If they were not published, how do you know there were such comments?

  178. Give them a finger they will take an arm.
    Yes China wants to reap all the benefits from trading with the rest of the world but they want none of the obligations. And you remind them it's a two way street they start with insults, bullying and threats.
    China is the only large economic power doing this now - the have no claim to the sea, and forbidden by an international tribunal to assert their claims, yet they go ahead with their invasion as if no one had said a word.
    This shows no respect for other nations and trading partners alike.
    We need someone like Trump to stop that behavior for it is clear that until now they haven't been afraid of Obama or Clinton who don't dare retaliate.(see Obama famous line in the sand)
    I can't wait until November when we have a president who will keep countries like China in their place by threatening to reciprocate on the trade side and discourage their bellicosity. If we don't we will lose our partners' respect and the world will be like a Houston-style anarchy when any rogue country can claim land they don't have rights to and start wars.
    It is time to get a new type of leadership and become a super power again.

  179. Led by small town editor in Ohio, Warren Harding, the Republican Congress failed to ratify the Treaty of Versailles or join the League of Nations. That put the United States at a distinct moral and diplomatic disadvantage that jerks like Trump propose to replicate. The empty content behind Trump's ignorance of world history and your parroting of this idiocy could not be more off the mark.

  180. The ruling today by the Permanent Court of Arbitration is a triumph for international law, justice, and peace and a total rejection of intimidation, coercive, and national greed.
    Reading the ruling in its entirety, one can sense the meticulous preparation, hard work, and adherence to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea by the Court. The ruling is legally binding. China's swift rejection of the PCA's ruling is politically expected but over the coming months cooler heads may prevail in Beijing. The global community is on a inexorable march to the rules of law. It's up to Chinese rulers to rise up smartly to the occasion on the global stage.

  181. Right now the reasonable arguments are mostly hushed and purged in China. China's blatant and aggressive border claims are making near permanent changes in the minds of the neighboring countries on security. Philippines' actions bringing border dispute to Hague is one of them. Vietnam and other neighboring countries in the South China Sea have been in conflict with China's border claims. In the East Asia, Taiwanese voted for the less China-friendly government. Japanese voters have just allowed prime minister Abe to change country's so-called "peace Constitution". Even China-friendly South Korea decided to install a new ant-missile defense system with the US that not only detects missiles from North Korea but also from China.
    Nowadays, Russia, another international outlaw country, has been jointly maneuvering with China in East Asian Sea. Vice President Biden warned President Xi about Japan's sophisticated readiness for the nuclear armament overnight. It is getting dangerous.

  182. The report is strongly biased.

    Firstly, it uses suggestive phrases. "For four years, China has been blocking fishermen from a reef near the Philippines", which creates an impression of: 1. It's an unequal rival between a large government and a few poor local fishermen (No. It's a legal and military dispute between two governments.) 2. The reef is near the Philippines, why does China take something away from the Philippines? (No. "Near" doesn't mean "belongs to". Does Buffalo NY belong to Canada?")

    The investigation method is intentionally designed to create confrontations and sympathy. Instead of to find out "WHY would China block fishermen scarborough", as the readers are promised in the subhead line, the article only tells a story about brave US journalists trying to find the truth but being censored by the Chinese military force. And the report is even branded with an eye-catchy title - "Our Our Boat Was Intercepted by China". Wow. How dare China you evil superpower. However, let's keep one thing in mind - the area they visited was not a regular or tourism area. It is the eye of the storm of a heated sovereign rights dispute. In this case, any random visitor could be seen as anyone - journalists, silly tourists get lost, or spies. How can the military not be curious and suspicious? Don't act surprised when you step in a zone like this and get warnings. The journalists were almost fishing for dramatic reactions.

  183. But that doesn't belong to China. Period!

  184. The report is an accurate portrayal on the situation of the disputed islands, from the point of view of Filipino fishermen.

    Of course the reporters didn't go there because it was a tourist destination. They intentionally went there to see if the claims of Filipino fishermen were true. Can anyone deny Chinese blockage of fishermen in the area? No. It is widely known. In fact, anyone who goes there experiences it. The reporters weren't fabricating an event, they were reporting on what they saw. You want reporters to stop reporting on the activities of the Chinese in the disputed waters? Then stop the activities. The international tribunal ruling has already invalidated its claims. It is harassment, and now officially trespassing, to keep legal fishermen from fishing on waters that is legally theirs.

  185. Can a country sets restrictions on foreigners who fish in its territory? Is Scarborouph China's territory? The journalists already believe China has no sovereign rights on Scarborough before they went on that trip. That's why the whole piece is focused on portraying how sad the fishermen couldn't fish there and afford their kids' toys anymore. And for the sovereign rights, it only briefly mentions "China shows old maps but those Philippine fishermen has been fishing there for many years". I suggest the journalists do more research in history.

    Last but not the least - Where does the US stand in this dispute? The US supports the Philippines, because the claim helps maintain the US's own military power in Asia. Btw, the "Hague Tribunal" is not made by International Court of Justice, but a much smaller organization called "Permanent Court of Arbitration". It arbitrates for hire. The clients have to pay in advance. The Philippines paid, and China didn't because that court is not recognized by China. To give you an idea on what kind of "court" it is: It has arbitrated 16 cases in its 117 years of history, and 0 of its arbitration was implemented.

  186. this is western hypocrisy at its best.

  187. At Zhu Yi - Yes Mother Jones and MSNBC 2 right wing sites agree this is a repudiation of China's aggression. LOL
    The International Court of Justice (French: Cour internationale de justice; commonly referred to as the World Court or ICJ) is the primary judicial branch of the United Nations (UN). Seated in the Peace Palace in The Hague, Netherlands, the court settles legal disputes submitted to it by states and provides advisory opinions on legal questions submitted to it by duly authorized international branches, agencies, and the UN General Assembly.

  188. Media always lead people to somewhere they want. How many fruits and product China bought from Philippines every year? How much money Chine paid to Philippines? Once United States supports it, this guy transfers mind and fight with China. They use these lower class to hide the true target: military. Why United States want this area? Get army there. Why United States support Philippines? Get oil and natural resource there. Hey big power, why couldn't you develop your economics in your country? Please don't bother others!!

  189. Yeah China! Go Build your own economics in your country. Don't bother innocent people like fishermen.