The South China Sea has been at the center of tensions since Beijing decided to push its initiatives in the region. With more nations stepping up their claims and defenses, analysts say that China is working on a more robust strategy to claim the region. Will South China Sea eventually belong to China?
Beijing has empowered its coast guard vessels to initiate acts of war in the South China Sea. In the name of protecting “innocent actors” from local authorities China is deploying its “little green fisherman,” the country’s militarized fishing fleet.
In relation to such moves, National Interest cites Article 62 of the United Nations Conventions on the Law of the Sea or UNCLOS. According to it: “Nationals of other States fishing in the exclusive economic zone shall comply with the conservation measures and with the other terms and conditions established in the laws and regulations of the coastal State.”
In such regard, fishermen can be allowed to operate on another country’s EEZ if “other terms” were taken into account. It can also be noted how China is expanding its Maritime Militia. The original purpose of the said group is to support the naval reserve but since 2012, Beijing included “rights to protection” to its portfolio. Additionally, China has integrated its fishing fleet closely with its Fisheries Law Enforcement agency of the Maritime Militia.
“That explains the rapid response of CCG vessels to Kway Fey’s seizure—the vessel most likely possessed a military-grade transmitter linked directly to Chinese authorities. Thus, China can calibrate at will the implications of any encounter at sea between Chinese fishermen and another nation,” explained National Interest.
The increasing operations in the South China can potentially turn it into a global flashpoint, according to The Telegraph. Furthermore, it appears China did not realize that switching on its lighthouse in the region will ultimately draw more attention to the deepening tensions. There was a time when the world was focused on the supposed threat from Russia and the ongoing activities of the ISIS. Not enough attention was given to the South China Sea but that seems to be changing now. China has been engaged in military-related activities for more than a year that other nations have taken notice. With the South China Sea promising trillion in trade, many analysts see the tensions not letting up sooner unless otherwise a political resolution can be achieved with all political parties involved amenable with the changes.