The South China Sea is an area dotted with small islands and is supposed to be rich in natural resources. China has laid claim to 90 % of this area. With the USA being a passive onlooker, the Chinese have militarized the Sea under the nose of the Americans. The SC Sea is claimed by the peripheral nations who resist the bullying tactics of China., but the dragon has taken De Facto control of most of the sea. This prompted the Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte to state that in case America was serious, why did it not send 5 aircraft carriers into the disputed sea and show presence?

However, the other nations are not giving up their rights and Indonesia has named a part of the SC Sea as “North Natuna Sea”. This has ruffled the Chinese. Their Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said that he did not know anything about the Indonesian decision but he reiterated China's territorial claims--according to CNN International .

Indonesia renames SC Sea

Indonesia is not deterred and at a press conference in Jakarta, Deputy Minister for Marine Sovereignty Arif Havas Oegroseno unveiled a new map. In this map, the renamed part of the South China sea was marked. The area delineated is claimed by China which claims almost 90% of the area. The peripheral nations Vietnam, Taiwan, the Philippines, Brunei, and Malaysia also claim portions of the sea.

Most claims overlap each other. In the last few years, an expansionist China has militarized the islands. The nations along the rim of the ocean are militarily weak and so China has had its way. The USA did not take any action and the Chinese occupied the area.

Disputed Sea

Prior to this renaming by Indonesia, the Philippines in 2011 had renamed the waters as the "West Philippine Sea".

In 2014 they filed a case against China before the International Tribunal at the Hague.

The tribunal gave its verdict in 2016 in favor of the Philippines. China had refused to participate in the proceedings and responded to the verdict by rejecting the ruling.

American inactivity

The Philippines had expected that with Trump in power things would change and the Americans will confront the Chinese.

Trump is however obsessed with North Korea and wants China to help in the matter.As a sop to China, the USA has not intervened in the South China Sea. All the USA has done is send single warships to assert “freedom of navigation" exercise. This is not enough as the Dragon has now presented the world with a fait accompli. Who is responsible?