South China Sea Dispute: China Defends Territorial Claim With Animation

South China Sea Dispute: China Defends Territorial Claim With Animation
Xi Jinping Global Panorama / Flickr CC

China is once again adamantly defending its rights to disputed territories lying along the vast shipping network that is the South China Sea. This time, however, the country is not using military might. Rather, it tapped into its sense of creativity and developed a short animated clip meant to target a relatively younger and cooler demographic.


The South China Sea is a valuable shipping route for just about every nation. It is said that as much as 40 percent of freight from around the world pass through these waters. This area serves as important link for commerce between Asia, the U.S., Europe especially. In fact, as much as 90 percent of raw materials being imported by the U.S. from the Asia Pacific region is said to pass through here.

It was state-run television CCTV who uploaded the three-minute animated video on Chinese microblogging service Weibo. It has since made its way to YouTube and is meant to appeal to a savvy demographic that would support peace and stability in the South China Sea so that they can continually have access to the latest from fashion and technology.

The video asserts that China has had a legal claim on the disputed Nansha Islands (also known as Spratly Islands) since before anyone can remember. After all, it claims that China was the one who first discovered and named the islands. In fact, it claims that the islands has been under the legal jurisdiction of China since the Tang dynasty. Meanwhile, China has also “affirmed jurisdiction of its sovereignty” on the islands during the Ming and Qing dynasties.

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The video further says that Nansha Islands is also featured in their authoritative maps and that dotted lines have been added to it in 1947 to designate Chinese island territories. Now, it seems China just wants everyone else to accept this claim and move on. After all, there is that old Chinese saying that “harmony brings wealth.”

Today, several nations have been trying to reassert their rights on certain disputed territories along the South China Sea despite China’s aggressive action. The U.S. has also vowed to continue with its freedom of navigation exercise along the area to help keep China in check. With regard to this, the video claims that the U.S. has been “conducting reconnaissance in waters within China’s jurisdiction.” It also further accused the U.S. backing the Philippines arbitration case against China.

The video states that China has been doing everything it can in order “to better ensure the safety and freedom of this shipping route.” This is said to be the reason as to why China has been putting up infrastructures on the South China Sea islands. It is saying that countries around it should work together as they are capable of protecting the area by themselves.

Also read: South China Sea Dispute: China Starts Cashing In On Cruises Along Contested Region

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