They say history is a great teacher — but only to those who are willing to learn. China’s continuing bullheadedness in building artificial islands in the disputed maritime territories in the South China Sea is growing more and more reminiscent of Adolf Hitler’s maneuvers before the outbreak of World War II, moving into Czechoslovakia on the pretext that Germany was reclaiming and protecting what was “rightfully” hers. Hitler’s bellicose attitude initially worked because leaders like Neville Chamberlain mistakenly thought leaving Hitler alone would pacify him — but it only fed the aggression because he soon started moving into other territories across Europe.
China’s systematic activities are making Asian nations — even those on more friendly terms with her — wary about the fallout and its impact on the balance of security in the region. Worldwide opinion has already condemned China’s delusion that it is the rightful owner of the whole South China Sea by virtue of its highly-debatable “nine-dash line” and its own historical version that many experts say is shot full of inaccuracies, if not fiction. Trying to alter international laws and established maritime demarcations is only creating more tension, especially when the Chinese Navy tried to “shoo away” a US Navy surveillance aircraft flying in international airspace over international waters.