China uses weather forecasts to lay claim

Featured Various Asia News - May 31st, 2012
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China has begun making and broadcasting weather forecasts of disputed waters in a strong move to assert its sovereignty over the islands in the East and South China Sea.

The recent move by Beijing precedes a regulation to manage the country’s territorial waters and maritime areas, the Chinese State Council reports. The regulations, which will take effect on June 1, essentially claim the disputed islands – the Senkaku or Diaoyu Islands as well as the Spratly Islands and Scarborough Shoal or Huangyan Islands – as Chinese territory.

An expert from Hong Kong saw reported as saying that weather forecasts can be used to lay sovereignty claims on territories as they are thought to be an assumption of “control” over that territory.

Chinese meteorological authorities are monitoring wind directions, speeds and wave heights using equipment stationed in the Fujian province in the southeast. The Fujian Meteorological Bureau will broadcast on radio 18 times a day for Chinese and Taiwanese fishermen.

China and Japan claim the Senkaku Islands, along with Taiwan. China also claims most of the South China Sea, including the Spratly Islands and Scarborough Shoal.