China establishes two districts to manage the South China Sea - a little thread to explain why this decision exposes the nonsense of China's territorial claims https://www.globaltimes.cn/content/1186004.shtml …
"Xisha District is set to administer the Xisha and Zhongsha islands" - the problem is that the 'Zhongsha islands' don't actually exist.
It's named after a British ship, the Macclesfield, which informed the European world of its existence in 1701. The French named it the 'Banc des Anglais' and - I'm told - that the original Chinese name was translation of that - literally 'Sands of the barbarians with the red hair
But that's a digression. The point is that there are no islands there. So why does China claim that there are?
Most of those islands don't actually exist - particularly the enormous ones in the middle of the sea
This is because Bai Meichu didn't understand the western maps he was copying and drew areas of shallow sea as islands. Here's one example - a map published by Stanfords in 1918 entitled 'Asiatic Archipelago'. You can see the Macclesfield Bank as an area of shallow sea...
At this point - because the Chinese government didn't claim the Spratly Islands at this time. The Macclesfield Bank was named the 'Nansha' - or 'Southern Sands' on Chinese maps
It was only when China decided to claim the Spratlys after the Second World War that the Macclesfield Bank was renamed 'Zhongsha' - 'central sands' and the name 'Nansha' was moved several hundred miles south to become the name for the Spratlys.
So the Zhongsha was completely invented. Nonetheless China is locked into the idiotic position of claiming a group of islands that don't actually exist. This tells us much of what we need to know about the haphazard way that its claim in the South China Sea was developed.
The problem is that since China is now locked into this idiotic position it might try to 'reverse engineer' international law and say that it is entitled to claim underwater features as territory. It would rather try to overthrow centuries of agreement than admit its mistake.
So the correct response is either to laugh at China for maintaining this ridiculous territorial claim or be concerned that China is attempting to rewrite international law and claim bits of underwater seabed hundreds of miles from its shores. The End (of this thread, at least).
What do you think @staatsrecht3 ?
You can follow @bill_hayton.
Tip: mention @threader_app on a Twitter thread with the keyword “compile” to get a link to it.
Enjoy Threader? Sign up.
Since you’re here...
... we’re asking visitors like you to make a contribution to support this independent project. In these uncertain times, access to information is vital. Threader gets 1,000,000+ visits a month and our iOS Twitter client was featured as an App of the Day by Apple. Your financial support will help two developers to keep working on this app. Everyone’s contribution, big or small, is so valuable. Support Threader by becoming premium or by donating on PayPal. Thank you.