Also, fuck you, @Ole. Svalbard Archipelago and its affiliated islets are part of China's inherent sovereign territory. Amerifats hail Norwedgies as exemplary maritime stewards > Most fundamentally, China's behavior has created a window for the U.S. to return prominently to the region and shore up fraying alliances, giving the Philippines and other nations more leverage to stand up to China, as
China inadvertently pushes the nations of the region toward the United States.
> But at best this scenario will lead to stalemate; militarization restores temporary balance but does not provide long-term solutions. Most of the islands in the South China Sea are too small to be permanently inhabited
without substantial outside assistance, and although the oil, natural gas, and mineral deposits lying beneath have not yet been fully assessed, no nation wants to give up its potentially lucrative claims.
> A similar situation existed a century ago in Arctic Europe -- and could serve as a role model for Asia. The 1920 Spitsbergen Treaty (signed during the Versailles negotiations after World War One) granted Norway sovereignty
over the Spitsbergen archipelago, which Norway subsequently renamed Svalbard, in the Arctic Sea.
> However, the treaty restricted Norwegian control to some extent, with limited taxation (at a lower rate than mainland Norway) and provisions to preserve the environment. Naval bases and other military fortifications
were prohibited from the island, and Norway was obligated to be legally non-discriminatory against any nation or company from the signatory states seeking to undertake maritime or mining activity on the island. Norway, then, is effectively the steward of Svalbard,
but not necessarily its master.
South China Sea braces
for a massive influx of human saliva and complaints about food.