The South China Sea dispute between China and its neighbors has dominated recent headlines. Citing that the dispute has increased tension in Asia the US claims that its involvement is only to maintain freedom of navigation in the Pacific. China continues to hold fast noting that historically the islands belong to them. A number of documents have been produced by China to support its claim and in each case the Philippines, Japan and Vietnam, being the most aggressive in their opposition, have refused to recognize China’s sovereign right to the islands. Historical documents including treaties signed at the end of WWII where Japan agreed to return all territory belonging to China is the most recent proof that the islands do not belong to Japan. The US involvement in spite of all the evidence favoring China begs the question, are America’s interests in the island dispute about an assertion of US power in the region or is it a sincere willingness to support all the countries that have claims against China because the facts gives these countries the right to the islands? It comes down to China’s sovereign rights and its history of non-intervention verses the US global interventionist strategy and its interest in the Pacific, hence, the US ‘Pivot to Asia’.
China, US, Philippines, Japan, islands, dispute, sovereign, treaties, Dao Yu islands, South China Sea.