Removing the Taiwan Stone from Asia’s Great “Go” Game: Thoughts on Taiwan’s Geographic and Demographic Role in Asia-Pacific Security
Seen from high altitudes, Pratas Reef is an almost perfectly circular and strikingly large landmark some 15 miles across. Known as “Dongsha” or “East Sand”) in Chinese, the reef is a glass-green roundel in a vast sapphire sea, suggestive of a clamshell “stone” in some cosmic version of “Go,” the ancient Japanese game of strategy. It is so large that it takes 90 seconds for a jetliner to pass over at 550 miles per hour, it is prominent in the northern expanses of the South China Sea where it straddles shipping lanes north-south through the Taiwan Strait and eastward from Hong Kong out to the Western Pacific. Hugging the reef’s rim is Pratas island, a pretty place, a 1.7 mile-long emerald sliver fringed with snow white beaches, scattered coconut palms, and turquoise lagoons that, in another universe, could be an exotic vacation getaway.
KeywordsSolomon Island Exclusive Economic Zone Coast Guard Fishing Boat Territorial Water
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