Tensions Rise in Pacific
China Lays Claim to Taiwan
December 10, 2009
(ENN) -- In a bold and surprising move, China's Central
Committee declared an expansion of its Exclusive Economic Zone to now
encompass all of Taiwan's current territorial waters.
This has caused outrage both in Taipei as well as in the U.S. as it
clearly ignores Taiwan's rights to its own coastal waters. China
has countered however, saying that this action only exercises its right
to secure the waters surrounding all of its territory, which
according to China, includes Taiwan.
"This action can only bring
about conflicts between our two commercial fishing fleets and increase
hostilities even further between our two countries," the Taiwanese
leader said. What was not said, however, was how damaging
"legalized" Chinese poaching could be to Taiwan, especially
since Taiwan depends on its fishing fleets to help feed its people.
Beijing has responded with a "carrot and stick" policy toward
Taiwan, by continuing to push forward with the expansion of China's EEZ
on the one hand, but offering new incentives for
"reunification" with China on the other. One of these
incentives includes the creation of a quasi-independent enclave similar
to that of Hong Kong. Rumors have it that while China is offering more
"carrots" to Taiwan than ever before, it is also brandishing
the "stick" more than ever as well.
military analysts, China has been building up the quality of its army
and air forces in recent years, an indicator that the Chinese government
is not ruling out the possibility of reunifying with Taiwan by force if