Bits and pieces ... spot by spot.
Sen. Webb (D-VA)'s article linked to above has some points well worth considering. Not to get too excited about - but to put in your nogg'n for future use.
On June 21, China's State Council approved the establishment of a new national prefecture which it named Sansha, with its headquarters on Woody Island in the Paracel Islands. Called Yongxing by the Chinese, Woody Island has no indigenous population and no natural water supply, but it does sport a military-capable runway, a post office, a bank, a grocery store and a hospital.Pardon me for being rude ... but where has Senator Webb been? Where has his leadership been to further the discussion on equipping and training a force for this?
The Paracels are more than 200 miles southeast of Hainan, mainland China's southernmost territory, and due east of Vietnam's central coast. Vietnam adamantly claims sovereignty over the island group, the site of a battle in 1974 when China attacked the Paracels in order to oust soldiers of the former South Vietnamese regime.
The potential conflicts stemming from the creation of this new Chinese prefecture extend well beyond the Paracels. Over the last six weeks the Chinese have further proclaimed that the jurisdiction of Sansha includes not just the Paracel Islands but virtually the entire South China Sea, connecting a series of Chinese territorial claims under one administrative rubric. According to China's official news agency Xinhua, the new prefecture "administers over 200 islets" and "2 million square kilometers of water." To buttress this annexation, 45 legislators have been appointed to govern the roughly 1,000 people on these islands, along with a 15-member Standing Committee, plus a mayor and a vice mayor.
The question is whether the China of 2012 truly wishes to resolve issues through acceptable international standards, and whether the America of 2012 has the will and the capacity to insist that this approach is the only path toward stability.For the full six years of his term as a US Senator, he has always been in the party of the majority in the Senate. You can do a lot with that.
So much power - and from USNA to this topic .... I sure hope he has done much more behind the scenes than he has out front. Though I disagreed with him on many things, he is/was an important voice - shame if it was a lost opportunity.