The new Great Wall of China

The new Great Wall of China (a case of the pot calling the kettle black)

Okay, I just saw this map being shared in one of my friends’ Facebook timeline and I just somehow felt compelled to express my opinion on it…

Well, while I do sympathize with the overall message the image is trying to put across, I do have some issues with some of the elements in the image itself:

  1. I wouldn’t label the Chinese government as «completely retarded». «Downright greedy»? Yes. But «retarded»? No… Unless, of course, you consider using archaeology (e.g. the presence of Chinese trade ware ceramics on the islands) as one of the bases for their claim a sign of retardation. Personally, I see it more as a sign of desperation since they already know that these islands are already outside their Exclusive Economic Zone.
  2. Panatag Shoal, Recto Bank, the Spratlys, Sabah, as well as the Marore and Palmas Islands are not officially part of the Philippines! That group of islands west of the Philippines to which the Spratlys belong is still the subject of territorial disputes in the region. As for Sabah, while it was indeed part of the Philippines during the 1800s, it has officially been part of Malaysia since the 1960s when its inhabitants voted to be part of that country instead. Now, I do not know the story behind the Marore and Palmas Islands—why they are being claimed as part of the Philippines—but let me just say that in all the other maps I have seen, they are depicted as part of Indonesia… My point in mentioning these is simple: if you are going to depict someone as being guilty of a particular crime, then for Heaven’s sake, don’t be guilty of the same crime yourself!
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