Special to WorldTribune.com
Bill Gertz, Asia Times
China’s takeover of the South China Sea is nearly complete and Beijing is now stepping up its sophisticated information warfare campaign in preparation for an expected unfavorable ruling from an international tribunal affecting its island claims.
The Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague is expected to rule within the next few weeks on an appeal from the Philippines challenging the legality of China’s claim to maritime sovereignty over most of the South China Sea under its ill-defined “Nine-Dash Line” over 90 percent of the sea. … An indicator of the Chinese reaction to the court was on display in The Hague on Saturday. China’s ambassador to the Netherlands, Wu Ken, used the official Xinhua news agency to denounce the pending decision – even before it was announced. …
President Obama and his administration for the most part have done little to push back – both from a counter- information warfare standpoint as well as through shows of military support – against China’s gradual hegemony. … The furthest any senior U.S. official has gone in criticizing China are Defense Secretary Ash Carter comments in recent weeks that the United States is fine with China’s modernization but not its bad behavior in the South China Sea, behavior he and other senior officials have failed to clearly spell out. …
With no clear indication from senior U.S. leaders that China is wrong in its South China Sea claims, the message to Beijing is loud and clear: China has no worry from a weak U.S. administration in taking over the sea.
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