Huh, dredging the sea floor to build those islands that China is constructing may be the key issue to stopping them:
Like all countries that have ratified UNCLOS, China has general legal obligations to protect and preserve the marine environment. UNCLOS specifically requires signatory nations to refrain from causing transboundary environmental harms and to take measures “necessary to protect and preserve rare or fragile ecosystems as well as the habitat of depleted, threatened or endangered species and other forms of marine life.”
It's some pretty fascinating angle with only one problem. It doesn't have a chance of working.
If international law on freedom of the seas in international water hasn't slowed down China's sea grab, in what alternate world where China actually gives a fig about their own environment let alone the sea bed's health would China quake at the thought of being found in violation of international environmental laws?
When I first saw the headline about the environment being the "secret weapon" for stopping China, I thought it might have been about the vulnerability to the artificial islands to being scoured away by a typhoon.
But no, the author suggests a solution only a partial step above wishing for the International Law Fairy's magical intervention.