South China Sea dispute could affect local farmers


by Brad McClellan

The South China Sea is a hot spot of territorial disputes. Currently there are six countries that have claims in the South China Sea. These claims all overlap one another. The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea states that a country has rights to 12 miles off each coast line. Their territorial waters may also be extended to meet islands under the nation’s control. However, the countries that had overlapping claims all signed the TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership) agreement with the United States to allow free trade and transportation through the region.

Now a problem has occurred. China has claimed the whole South China Sea to be part of China. To appease International Law, China has begun manually building islands on reefs to extend its territory.

While this technically is not prohibited by International Law the islands are being militarized, which violates the TTIP agreement written by the United States as the South China Sea was to remain demilitarized. The Chinese Communist Regime has stated that they would like to control trade in the region as well. This is significant to the United States as over 5.8 trillion dollars of trade goes through the South China Sea every year, and 1.2 trillion of that are United States goods. A tax on these goods could have an impact on the trade among the United States’ allies in the region. If these goods were taxed, businesses sending goods through the region would have to pay these taxes with money they could be spending on produce.

After David Cameron resigned as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, the new leader,Theresa May, took China to an international court to settle the South China Sea dispute. China lost the case for the South China Sea and was ordered to revoke its claims in the region. The leader of China, Xi Jinping, said that China does not have to follow a decision made by an international court because it never made an agreement to do so. After World War II, the Communist Regime pushed the People’s Republic of China out of power. They are now known as Taiwan.

However, the United States still argued that it had to follow the ruling as it was a member of the United Nations. China, however, is a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council or the G5, which allows it to veto the ruling of the United Nations.

If China maintains control of the region and implements these new taxes, there could be a decrease in the pay that local farmers would get for the corn they sell to the co-op. This conflict on the other side of the world could hit us hard right here at home.