Is building islands in sensitive ocean waters cool?
Fear of China, and roiling the totalitarian overlords of the world’s biggest potential market, has long hamstrung western power preaching “freedom” and “democracy.”
Who could forget the recent Hong Kong protests where brave citizens took to the streets demanding very small liberties being brutally quashed by Beijing?
It might be imagined that surfers, skaters, snowboarders and the extreme sport companies appealing for our dollars would raise a fist and defiantly shake it east but no. Vans accidentally released a shoe depicting a different Hong Kong protest by an artist that had won an online competition then buried it quicker than it takes to say “freedom ain’t free.”
The Costa Mesa-based company should be deeply ashamed but maybe so should the San Clemente-based Surfrider Foundation that is”…dedicated to the protection and enjoyment of the world’s ocean, waves and beaches through a powerful activist network.”
Very fine and good except the world’s biggest ongoing ocean-specific environmental catastrophe gets zero mention.
How could that be?
And let us travel east where the Chinese government has been building islands in a disputed area of the South China Sea for military purposes, trawling for oil, scooping up all the fishies and otherwise behaving abysmally.
China has upped the ante amid rising tensions in the South China Sea by declaring two new administrative districts for the contested region and releasing a new map naming all the islands and reefs it claims.
The provocative moves come as Beijing faces diplomatic pushback from some of its Southeast Asian neighbors against its sweeping assertion of sovereignty across the resource-rich sea.
It also takes place as the China’s Coast Guard and maritime militia pressure other claimants, even as they grapple with the global coronavirus pandemic. Most recently, China has deployed a survey vessel and escort ships near an oil field off the coast of Malaysia.
China’s announcement on the administrative measures came this weekend. The State Council, China’s top administrative body, approved the creation of two new municipal districts: Nansha District, which is based at Fiery Cross Reef, an artificial island built by China that it says will oversee all of the Spratly Islands and their surrounding waters; and Xisha District, based on Woody Island, which will oversee the Paracel Islands.
Will the Surfrider Foundation act?
Also, is there a sweet little point there?
The world’s biggest non-politician polluter Kelly Slater wants to know!
More as the story develops.