The South China Sea and Chinas

Taiwan’s president, defying a rare criticism from key ally the United States, visited an island in the disputed South China Sea on Thursday to emphasize Taiwan’s sovereignty claims in the increasingly tense region.

A small correction: that’s the Republic of China, which sits on the island of Taiwan.

And good for President Ma Ying-jeou, who along with 30 staffers visited the island of Taiping in the Spratly Islands, a collection variously claimed by the RoC, Philippines, Malaysia, Vietnam, and which lie within Brunei’s EEZ, but which has been seized and occupied by the People’s Republic of China.

Each of these nations and the United States should make more of this sort of visit, independently and together, to emphasize both their competing claims (which they’re willing and capable of settling among themselves, amicably) and the illegitimacy of the PRC occupation.

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