By Chris Kuan
Irredentism is a political claim on territories justified by real or imagined affiliations or events in past history. It is the sickness of nationalism. That's what Chinese claims over the South China Sea is, a sickness. On the basis of such historical claims, others can do the same which is the sheer idiocy of it all, here are just a few examples -
Germany should take back Upper and Lower Silesia from Poland, the Kaliningrad region (former East Prussia) from Russia and the western part of the Czech Republic. All these regions being part of Germany 70 years ago. On the same basis, Poland should take back Galicia (presently Western Ukraine).
That's only going back to the Second World War. But China is making claims all the way back to the Tang dynasty!
Spain and Portugal going over to Morroco because both were part of the Islamic world and ruled by the Moors at the time of the Tang Dynasty.
Korea claims on Manchuria using the historical basis of the Goguryeo Kingdom
How about Greece taking over western Turkey based on claims that the region was Greek during the Hellenistic period 2000 years ago? Well Greece actually invaded Turkey in 1919 to put into effect the idea of a Greater Greece.
Maybe shrink the present People's Republic of China cos in those days China was a lot smaller.
It is ridiculous but the problem is that such claims have led to wars in past.
Some are saying the Hague Tribunal received the majority of its funding from the European Union (EU) and Japan as if this affects the judgment. But I trust democratic nations far more than one party states like China with a lousy relationship to the rule of law.
The funny thing is there are actually Singaporeans who are cheering on the Chinese for making such claims. They should think very carefully - the freedom of navigation guaranteed by the Royal Navy made Singapore an entrepot. As an independent nation, Singapore's development and prosperity needed the freedom of navigation guaranteed by the US Navy, China's irredentist claims right at our doorstep put our economic well being at risk.