Wednesday, August 09, 2017

So the Point is That it Doesn't Matter What We Do?

Let me get this straight. China and Russia will muck around in the Arctic Sea (where China has no territorial claims) unless America joins the Law of the Sea treaty (LOST)?

But if America joins it will be too late?

And China already claims far more in the South China Sea than LOST allows.

And China ignored a ruling against them and in favor of the Philippines under the LOST provisions in the South China Sea.

And after Ukraine you are going to argue that Russia can be stopped with a piece of paper when Ukraine had four of those friggin' things (USSR transfer of Crimea to the Ukraine; Russian acceptance of Crimea in Ukraine after USSR collapsed in 1991; the 1994 Budapest Memorandum on Ukrainian territorial integrity; and the general UN stuff on not invading another member state, of which Ukraine is a founding member funny enough) before being invade in two places in 2014?

Maybe it is just my poor capacity for nuance that is responsible, but I get the impression that the status of America in or out of LOST has no effect at all on China's or Russia's ambitions; and that the best response is grey (and white) hulls.

I'm more worried about freedom of navigation at sea that LOST endangers by allowing states to wall off huge chunks of ocean that will soon become de facto territorial waters.

Really, America is well poised to extract resources in those waters that LOST supposedly lets us wall off. Why can't direct diplomacy with China keep them out as part of negotiations.

Maybe America should start drilling in South China Sea waters since we aren't in the treaty and so not bound to respect China's LOST claims.

Then we trade with China. They don't drill or mine in the Arctic and we don't do that in the South China Sea.

I don't see any benefit to signing a treaty that China and Russia will ignore and simply ensnare America in its web of rules.