China’s Aggression in the South China Sea

A long-standing territorial dispute between Beijing and Manila over Thitu Island (also known as Pagasa), one of the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea, resurfaced in full force recently, when more than 200 Chinese boats were spotted in the vicinity of the island. Thitu Island is controlled and administered by the Philippines, and Filipino civilians and military personnel inhabit the island. Sovereignty over the island is claimed by the Philippines, China, Taiwan and Vietnam.

Increased Chinese encroachment on the Spratly Islands — and a recent “goodwill visit” of Russian Navy ships to the Philippines — should be cause for alarm in Washington.