China is busy stirring calm waters in a bid to assert its long held agenda of claiming almost the entire South China Sea territory while the rest of the world continue to wallow in darkness in search for an end to a pandemic which has been unleashed upon mankind by the unfortunate and rather irresponsible handling of the outbreak of Covid19 by a country that claims to be a superpower.
Much was expected from the Chinese communist government in the initial management and reporting of the outbreak of the disease. As a major trading bloc seeking more political influence in the scheme of global politics, one expected a more proactive and sensitive approach at the very onset of the pandemic.
It virtually appears that China and in particular the Chinese Communist Party has benefited from the outbreak of the virus than suffered even after being the first victim and origin of the virus.
While the world is focused on finding ways of bringing the coronavirus pandemic under control, China has been quietly taking subtle paramilitary and political actions which fly in the face of international conventions and laws in the South China Sea that could change the dynamics of the region?
It seems to be perfect timing for the Chinese Communist Party because countries like The United States of America, Australia and other superpowers with interest in the South China Sea region have their attention focused on a pandemic originating from China.
China is working hard towards getting its maritime neighbours, Malaysia, Vietnam, Brunei, Philippines and Taiwan not to assert their territorial rights and claims to boundaries they deem their own.
Beijing has re-mapped the South China Sea enclave and claiming about 85% of the whole SCS area with its so-called nine-dash line. Interesting choice of time to rekindle a long-standing dispute among nations.
China has also named 80 islets and reefs, including 55 entities that are permanently underwater. These actions many experts have observed are meant to create “new facts to buttress claims to control the 1.4 million square miles of the South China Sea”.
All these are happening after China irresponsibly plunged the whole world into a pandemic which has brought the world economy virtually to a standstill.
The Chinese Communist Party owes the world some show of remorse leading to a willingness to open up for a thorough fact-finding investigation into the circumstances surrounding the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic and not to abandon its responsibility and be engaging in turf and boundary-grabbing politics while the health and safety of its own people and the rest of the world is seriously under threat.
The writer is a freelance journalist, public and social advocate, and marketing communications practitioner.