Tale about Philippines under attack by China over territory dispute is a lie. Editorial.

At the insistence of the U.S. in 1999, the Philippines ran aground an abandoned U.S. World War II transport vessel on a submerged sandbar known as the Second Thomas Shoal in the Spratly Islands claiming the Philippines owns that sandbar. But that is not possible.

There is no land to claim except what China has constructed as man-made land. The Spratlys will never be land mass at the current rate of ocean levels rising.

The so-called islands themselves have always been largely uninhabited but offer fishing grounds and contain significant reserves of oil and natural gas which is what is driving the greed of the men involved.

The Philippines is trying to use the submerged sandbar as a sovereignty claim as a means for also claiming an extended international boundary but so too is Taiwan, Brunei, Vietnam, Malaysia, and China, all claiming parts or all of the Spratlys. It’s not land and every rock and bit of sand is disappearing under water as the waters rise with global warming melting ice.

The Second Thomas Shoal is clearly uninhabitable and UNCLOS indicates it is not possible for any nation to have sovereign rights over the Second Thomas Shoal in the Spratly Islands because the submerged mud and sand is unable to support human existence—it’s under water and that water is getting deeper and deeper as the oceans swell and sea-levels rise with global warming and melting sea ice. That of course means that none of the countries claiming the area have a legitimate claim.

There has never been a ruling on the ownership of the so-called Spratly Islands. China first established a presence in the Spratlys in 1988, when its military forcibly removed a Vietnamese garrison from Johnson South Reef. In early 2014 China began intensively building up artificial land on certain reefs. It intensely guards these military assets to which the Philippines has been intrusive and thus getting the heave ho.

China Coast Guard warns off with firehose aimed at the water nearby PH Ship

China Coast Guard warns off Filipinos with a firehose aimed at the water nearby a PH Ship. Photo submitted by Philippines Coast Guard.

USS LST-821, renamed USS Harnett County (LST-821/AGP-281), is an LST-542-class tank landing ship built for the United States Navy during World War II. She was named for Harnett County, North Carolina and was the only U.S. Naval vessel to bear the name. She served the United States Navy in World War II and the Vietnam War. She was transferred to South Vietnam’s Republic of Vietnam Navy, which named her RVNS My Tho (HQ-800). After the Vietnam War, Harnett County was transferred to the Philippine Navy, which named her BRP Sierra Madre (LT-57). In 1999, the Philippine government deliberately had her run aground on Second Thomas Shoal in the Spratly Islands. — Wikipedia

Disputed land in the South China SeaClick to enlarge.

The disputed land in the South China Sea is mostly not land at all. Image courtesy of Demilitarize South China Sea Group | Global Protest against militarization of the South China Sea.

Sierra Madre

The rusted-out Sierra Madre run aground in shallow water, where neither China nor the Philippines can lawfully claim sovereignty according to UNCLOS . Above photo courtesy Philippines Coast Guard.

Sierra Madre

Sierra Madre courtesy Demilitarize South China Sea | Global Protest against militarization of the South China Sea

Seen on deck, since 1999, the Philippines has stationed a handful of military personnel aboard this shipwrecked, run-aground junkheap in the shallow water (the whole shoal is underwater permanently) and it sits there today as an atrocious rusted heap of rusted WWII relic steel polutting the waters of the SCS.

CCGV Shadows rusted out WWII shipwreck

People’s Republic of China Coast Guard vessel CCGV 5701 shadows the rusted-out WWII shipwreck. Photo Courtesy Demilitarize South China Sea Group | Global Protest against militarization of the South China Sea

A Subtle Provocation of China Pushed by America

America seeks to halt the economic success path of the People’s Republic of China. It has been using a wide range of illegitimate means to do that while China struggles to nurture peaceful relations.

The Marcos government in Manila as an antagonistic gesture is now claiming the right to resupply the persons living precariously in the run-aground derelict despite the need to traverse China-claimed waters near its military base to get there and despite the growing annoyance to China as the Americans exploit the caper to create provocations that put the Philippines into danger of becoming a war battleground.

America’s (soon to be NATO‘s) war in Ukraine against Russia has cost Ukraine millions of its people. In one way or another—they are gone. America seems to be doing the same to the Philippines. Marcos has earned a stay of execution of a court ordered arrest. Mr. Ferdinand Marcos and his mother, Imelda Marcos, are facing arrest in the United States for defying a court order to pay US$353 million (₱17,385,250,000 in 2024) in restitution to human rights abuse victims during his Ferdinand Marcos’s father’s dictatorship in the Philippines.

A source inside the White House said this arrest warrant was put on hold while Marcos was the Philippines President. They didn’t know if that applied to the mother. In any case, freedom for six years from U.S. arrest is what Marcos bought by allowing the Americans to militarily occupy the Philippines for a war with China.

The Chinese have shown little interest in the childish provocations on the St. Thomas underwater shoal and have finally responded by saying, ‘tow that dangerous rusted-out pile of junk away and stop traversing our waters’ without permission or proper notification.

Rodrigo Duterte’s approach was to keep the peace and convince the Chinese to allow fisher folks to have some fishing grounds access. That did not last.

Insiders say the Biden White House were quite surprised when Marcos came along and gifted America with the Philippines which territory it will use to make war on China.

It is often not realized that states’ rival claims in the South China Sea (SCS) do not just create diplomatic hassles but also create much more severe negative humanitarian impacts on their citizens, in this case, hundreds of thousands of families. Families suffer from Militarization of the SCS. One of the impacts is that poverty has stunted the growth of half the children in the Philippines. For the children under 5, evidence suggests that protein is missing from their diet, and the lack of small fish is the cause inasmuch as that is the most significant change owing to quarrels between the Philippines and China and the ensuing limitations on fishing activities of Philippines’ fisherfolk. Photo by Micheal John.

In a world full of human rights horrors, along comes Ferdinand (Bongbong) Marcos and his American benefactors who are excusing his USA crimes while he is the elected President of the Philippines.

America has a bad habit of fighting wars using other nation’s lives. In this case the USA has picked the Philippines as the bloody battleground for war with China. This is likely the supidist thing any Philippines government or occupying government has ever made. Filipinos are now to be expended in America’s war with China as cannon fodder.

Since Marcos took office after a massively American bought election win wherein American social media carried out the campaign mantra to an extreme: “The Marcos Dictatorship and human rights violations didn’t ever happen”, America has gradually occupied a huge part of the Philippines across nine or more military bases, rapidly building a presence to go to war against China.

Obviously, this will allow America to keep the war with China off U.S. soil and allow the use of the Philippines as the battleground where 110 millions of some of the poorest and hungriest people in the world are living.

Additional reading.

  1. Chinas-Claim-of-Sovereignty-over-Spratly-and-Paracel-Islands
  2. Fish in the South Asian Sea_Final
  3. Explanation-of-the-court-decision-in-favour-of-the-Philippines
  4. The-Law of the Sea Tribunal Decision-in-favour-of-the-Philippines
  5. RINJ-Proposal-to-ECOSOC-for-Agreement-South-Asian-Sea-English

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