Posts Tagged ‘L.O.S.T.’


China accused of building ‘island fortresses’ as Philippine newspaper obtains aerial images

An aerial picture of Chinese construction activities in the South China Sea


The surveillance pictures were mostly taken between June and December last year. Photograph: Inquirer.net/Philippine Daily Inquirer

Beijing has been accused of building “island fortresses” in the South China Sea after a newspaper in the Philippines obtained aerial photographs offering what experts called the most detailed glimpse yet of China’s militarisation of the waterway.

The Philippine Daily Inquirer said the surveillance photographs – passed to its reporters by an unnamed source – were mostly taken between June and December last year and showed Chinese construction activities across the disputed Spratly archipelago between the Philippines and Vietnam.

Brunei, China, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam have overlapping claims in the region.

Images from the Philippine Daily Inquirer showing Mischief Reef  Fiery Cross Reef in the South China Sea

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From 2011.

Vodpod videos no longer available.
South China Sea, posted with vodpod

The South China Sea

Press Statement

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
July 22, 2011

We commend this week’s announcement that ASEAN and China have agreed on implementing guidelines to facilitate confidence building measures and joint projects in the South China Sea. This is an important first step toward achieving a Code of Conduct and reflects the progress that can be made through dialogue and multilateral diplomacy. We look forward to further progress.

The United States is encouraged by this recent agreement because as a Pacific nation and resident power we have a national interest in freedom of navigation, open access to Asia’s maritime domain, the maintenance of peace and stability, and respect for international law in the South China Sea.

We oppose the threat or use of force by any claimant in the South China Sea to advance its claims or interfere with legitimate economic activity. We share these interests not only with ASEAN members and ASEAN Regional Forum participants, but with other maritime nations and the broader international community.

The United States supports a collaborative diplomatic process by all claimants for resolving the various disputes in the South China Sea. We also support the 2002 ASEAN-China Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea. But we do not take a position on the competing territorial claims over land features in the South China Sea. We believe all parties should pursue their territorial claims and accompanying rights to maritime space in accordance with international law, including as reflected in the 1982 Law of the Sea Convention.

The United States is concerned that recent incidents in the South China Sea threaten the peace and stability on which the remarkable progress of the Asia-Pacific region has been built. These incidents endanger the safety of life at sea, escalate tensions, undermine freedom of navigation, and pose risks to lawful unimpeded commerce and economic development.

In keeping with the 2002 ASEAN-China Declaration, each of the parties should comply with their commitments to respect freedom of navigation and over-flight in the South China Sea in accordance with international law, to resolve their disputes through peaceful means, without resorting to the threat or use of force. They should exercise self-restraint in the conduct of activities that would complicate or escalate disputes and affect peace and stability including, among others, refraining from taking action to inhabit presently uninhabited islands, reefs, shoals, cays, and other features, and to handle their differences in a constructive manner.

The United States encourages all parties to accelerate efforts to reach a full Code of Conduct in the South China Sea.

We also call on all parties to clarify their claims in the South China Sea in terms consistent with customary international law, including as reflected in the Law of the Sea Convention. Consistent with international law, claims to maritime space in the South China Sea should be derived solely from legitimate claims to land features

Bolded emphasis is mine.  We never signed onto L.O.S.T. and therefore have no seat at the table. Hillary had also warned about that. See the right sidebar.

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Bloomberg News

Clinton Pushes Maritime Code, Trade at APEC Summit in Russia

By Indira A.R. Lakshmanan on September 07, 2012
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will urge cooperation on resolving regional maritime skirmishes that have escalated over the past year during a visit to Russia for an Asia-Pacific summit.

As President Barack Obama’s representative at the Asia- Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit in Vladivostok, Clinton meets today and tomorrow with the leaders of Japan, South Korea and Russia, all of whom have competing territorial claims with China or each other.

The top U.S. diplomat is wrapping up a six-nation, 11-day tour that garnered mixed results in pressing China and Southeast Asia countries to adopt a framework for negotiations on territorial claims in a region rich in oil and gas. The U.S. is seeking to diffuse conflict in the South China Sea, through which half of the world’s commercial cargo moves.

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None, I repeat, NONE of the difficulty Hillary Clinton has encountered on this Asia tour is necessary.  All of the conflicts she is attempting to settle through multilateral negotiations could have been brought to an international convention for fair adjudication.  Instead,  like a busy little bee (a  really cute one) cross-pollinating frantically,  Secretary Clinton is compelled to buzz from one to another bilateral meeting to try to bring disputes to settlement.  She does so at an extreme disadvantage with no muscle whatsoever because the United States is still not a member of the Law of the Sea Convention (L.O.S.T.)

The Law of the Sea Convention is a body of maritime states that agree to certain stipulates, e.g. maritime borders may extend to as far as 200 miles offshore.  The U.S. has four maritime borders.  Members empower the convention to make decisions as to who may do what where.  Drilling and mining for rare minerals beneath the sea,  minerals used in our precious and necessary technology,  our smart phones and iPads,  is governed by rights to areas of the sea.   Not being members, we have no voice regarding who may encroach upon our own maritime borders nor upon those of our friends and partners e.g. some of the countries Mme. Secretary has visited this week.  This hobbles not only Hillary Clinton in her efforts on her latest journey, but our country going forward in this century, which, of course, is her concern.

We are not members of this convention because our opportunity came to a screeching halt just two months ago when the Tea Party essentially killed ratification of  L.O.S.T. in Congress.

Every day I watch Hillary Clinton work her heart out for this country.  Right now, as I am writing this, she is working so hard to try, from a powerless position, to negotiate settlements by shuttling from one to another delegation.  It is unnecessary.  All of this could easily be settled peacefully before an international body we have  snubbed by not ratifying the Law of the Sea Treaty.

Thank the Tea Party for that. 

See How the Tea Party Harpooned Hillary Clinton’s Asia Mission

Meanwhile, our precious Hillary, we appreciate all you are trying to do and all you have done.  Come home safe.  You have not failed in any way anywhere.  Your government-held-captive has failed you.

If you understand what is happening here and disagree with how  Congress, by way of the Tea Party,  has stymied our hard-working Secretary of State and worse, the future of our country and its leading role in world affairs,  lobby your reps and vow to vote them out if they do not RESURRECT L.O.S.T.!

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