With evidence of a sliver of peace in Ukraine now that Russian-backed rebels are retracting their heavy weapons from the front line of that conflict as part of a ceasefire agreement and ahead of International talks on possible further sanctions on Russia for meddling in the former soviet republic, another area of instability has now been opened by China as its state-sanctioned media confirms that the communists are involved in large scale land reclamation projects on disputed isles on the South China Sea.
China's confirmation of its actions on the South China Sea, affirms claims the Philippines has been alarming the international community about for more than a year. Behemoth China has made claim to some 90 percent of the South China Sea with no apparent regard to the sovereignty of smaller neighboring countries like the Philippines, Vietnam, Taiwan, Brunei and Malaysia. Last year, China deposited a deep sea oil drilling rig within the 200-mile exclusive economic zone of Vietnam which triggered a backlash within Vietnam as angry protesters torched and attacked Chinese businesses and persons.
The Philippines has repeatedly complained that China is involved in land reclamation projects on Philippine territory and within the nation's exclusive economic zone demarcated by International law. The Philippines has filed Arbitration proceedings against China's actions. Yet, China, in total disregard of International law, has continued its projects to claim territory on the South China Sea citing tattered old-age maps supposedly allotting most of the sea to Beijing.
Earlier today, Reuters reported that the semi-official China Military Online publication confirmed that China was conducting "large scale" land reclamation and construction on the Cuarteron Reef in the disputed Spratly Islands. Satellite images confirm China's expansion on six reefs on the archipelago. The Reuters report stated that workers are building ports and fuel storage depots along with two likely airstrips.
China's attitude that an old-age map and Chinese desires trump International laws and norms, breeds a deepening global security concern on the South China Sea, where some $5 trillion of sea-trade traverses each year.
Hence, while a sliver of a ray of hope to peace and global security dawns over Europe, China has confirmed the establishment of a deepening can of worms aimed at possibly throwing International trade and security into another theater of instability.