The unspoken grievance is that China and South Korea gained little new territory as Exclusive Economic Zones in the scramble to carve up the oceans during the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). Despite their large economies and populations, China and South Korea were entitled to claim only fractions of the areas claimed by the ten states that received the largest shares: the five Anglo-Saxon powers + France, Russia, Indonesia, Japan and Portugal. The United States and France each acquired more than 11.3 million square kilometers of the oceans. By comparison, China may claim a mere 879,000 square kilometers – less than the 923,322 square kilometers that the Maldives received. Given that China has the largest population on the planet, the second largest national economy and the fourth largest pre-UNCLOS land area, awarding 31 other states more area is another humiliation for a people whose modern national narrative consists largely of humiliation by other powers.
From National Geographic via The Boston Globe: “H’Mong minority children were playing with their balloons on the foggy day in Moc Chau - Ha Giang province Viet Nam Shooting time Jan 2012. (Photo and caption by Vo Anh Kiet/National Geographic Traveler Contest)”
This photo finished second place in National Geographic’s annual Traveler Photo Contest. You can view the winners gallery here.