Letter to the editor, Published in the SCMP, April 10 2013

China had no right to set up new prefecture

Your reference to China’s “newest city, Sansha” (“One snag in Sansha cruises,” Sunday Morning Post, April 7) rightly points out that the two million square kilometres this illegitimate jurisdiction comprises overlaps with waters and land features over which Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei claim full or partial sovereignty.

Unfortunately, the article fails to mention the real snag – that China’s absurd territorial claim is entirely without basis in international law.

Nor is there any mention of the scores of Vietnamese who were murdered, and hundreds more abused, since Beijing seized the islands in the 1980s. The photo caption, which reads “Woody Island, Sansha City”, is similarly misleading.

Jonathan London

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