Beijing on Tuesday defended its building work in the Spratlys, saying the activity was comparable to construction of homes and roads on the mainland. “From the perspective of sovereignty, there is absolutely no difference,” Senior Colonel Yang Yujun, spokesman for China’s Defense Ministry, said at a news briefing.
To an extent, that’s a true statement. However internally logical Yang’s remark is, though, it proceeds from a false premise: there is no PRC sovereignty over the Spratlys, or anywhere else in the South (or East) China Sea. The grab here is naked aggression.