Forget the South China Sea: Did China Just Claim Hawaii (and Most of the Pacific Ocean)?
Besides the obvious hysterics like new provinces and claims over Antarctica, in just a matter of a few minutes of Googling I realized the article was not an original piece but was actually written in 2014 for a site called Ministry of Harmony. Described on its Twitter feed as “The Onion with Chinese Characteristics” it seems we had all been had—at least for a little while anyway.
Even though the map and article were someone’s attempt at a little fun, there is a larger point. China’s use of maps, passports and other mapfare-style methods of pushing a narrative of rightful territorial claims whether over Taiwan or the 9 or actually 10-dash-line in the South China Sea and others areas has been part of Beijing’s toolkit for sometime now. The fact that none of us at the conference were shocked speaks volumes to the now ingrained perception of China on the international stage as a power bent on changing the status-quo—no matter what the cost. A reputation as some sort of rogue state is a tough thing in international politics to change—and it's something Beijing should bear in mind.
This first appeared in September 2016 and is being reposted due to reader interest.