The new Gwei Lo: China’s preposterous ‘nine-dotted line’ South China Sea claim


Gwei (鬼) means “ghost”. A lo (佬) is a regular guy, a chap or a bloke.  The term is a reference to skin color, as white skin is associated with ghosts. The term is sometimes translated into English as foreign devil. The term arose in the 16th century when European sailors appeared in southern China as they were associated with barbarians. Historically, Chinese people had the image of its borders continuously breached by “uncivilized tribes”. (Wikipedia)

Fast forward to the present. At a time when humankind is supposed to be more evolved and only the lowest of the low-life persist in imposing themselves on others through the barrel of a gun, a new gwei lo has emerged on the world stage, pushing its weight around like a school yard bully preying on the most vulnerable that have no means or wherewithal to fight back.

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No, I’m not talking about ISIS and their unspeakable acts of barbarism. At least ISIS has no pretensions. What you see is what you get–a pathetic clique of Islamic misfits with a gargantuan persecution complex wielding guns and rocket-propelled grenades . . . because they can’t function in the real world.

I’m talking about the People’s Republic of China, whose recent meteoric rise in economic status has led to the resurgence of a highly presumptuous and downright preposterous territorial claim, known as the “nine-dotted line” and illustrated in the following map.

China's 2009 Nine-Dotted Line Map Submission to the United Nations

China’s 2009 Nine-Dotted Line Map Submission to the United Nations

The above map is the second page of a two-page document. The first page is a text addressed to the UN Secretary General, stating China’s sovereignty claim to the “islands in the South China Sea and the adjacent waters”. Click the following link to view the two-page document: China’s 2009 Nine-Dotted Line Map Submission to the United Nations. (Wikipedia)]

The nine-dotted line was originally an eleven-dotted-line first shown on a map published by the Kuomintang government of the Republic of China (1912–1949) in December 1947 to justify its claims in the South China Sea. After the Communist Party of China took over mainland China and formed the People’s Republic of China in 1949, the line was adopted and revised to nine as endorsed by Zhou Enlai. (Wikipedia) In short, it is what it is because China says so. British journalist, Bill Hayton, describes it as “collective hallucination“.

I suppose Greece could submit to the UN the following territorial map at the height of the Greek Empire and claim the said territory today.

greek empire

Italy could also submit to the UN the following territorial map at the height of the Roman Empire and claim the said territory today.

roman empire

Heck, Mongolia could submit to the UN the following territorial map at the height of the Mongol Empire and claim the said territory today.

mongol empire

Of course, Greece, Italy and Mongolia wouldn’t bother with such antics, considered unacceptable (indeed uncivilized) by today’s international conventions. In contrast, China, the new gwei lo (鬼佬), is unabashedly brandishing its brand of neo-barbarism by fist-pounding on the nine-dotted line, particularly towards certain ASEAN countries (not the least of which is the Philippines) that have legitimate claims under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS, to which China is a signatory) but are virtually defenseless against the military might of China.


The above map provides a snapshot of the South China Sea Dispute. Even in the absence of any explanation, one can objectively decipher that China’s nine-dotted line claim is overreaching and way beyond the realm of reason, equity and good faith. For a brief discussion on the matter, click on the following link: South China Sea Dispute

Adding insult to injury, China, like the shameless gwei lo bully that it is, has gone on the offensive, repeatedly broadcasting its baseless and illegal claims like a Communist-party slogan on a broken record while aggressively reclaiming environmentally sensitive reefs in the absence of anymeaningful military opposition from the countries that have sovereign rights over the area. For more information, click on the following link: Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative.

This map shows the major outposts and facilities in the Spratly Islands. The four operational airfields at Swallow Reef (Malaysia), Itu Aba (Taiwan), Thitu Island (Philippines) and Spratly Island (Vietnam) are indicated. China is in the process of constructing a fifth airstrip on the reclaimed land atop Fiery Cross reef. The yellow dots indicate reefs that China has reclaimed or begun to reclaim: Fiery Cross, Cuarteron, Hughes, Johnson South, Mischief, Eldad, Gaven and Subi. It is notable that all eight of these reclaimed reefs fall within the claims of the Philippines. (Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative)

This map shows the major outposts and facilities in the Spratly Islands. The four operational airfields at Swallow Reef (Malaysia), Itu Aba (Taiwan), Thitu Island (Philippines) and Spratly Island (Vietnam) are indicated. China is in the process of constructing a fifth airstrip on the reclaimed land atop Fiery Cross reef. The yellow dots indicate reefs that China has reclaimed or begun to reclaim: Fiery Cross, Cuarteron, Hughes, Johnson South, Mischief, Eldad, Gaven and Subi. It is notable that all eight of these reclaimed reefs fall within the claims of the Philippines. (Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative)

In a nutshell, China’s offensive, particularly against the Philippines, can only be described as the mighty gwei lo‘s territorial rape and pillage of the defenseless (like a child preyed upon, traumatized and destroyed by a pedophile), as the rest of the world observes with indifference for fear of disrupting their economic ties with the all-powerful nouveau riche gwei lo.

Finally, just to drive the point home that China can have its way with the Philippines any time of day, China’s Coast Guard vessels which now maintain a presence in the Spratly Islands take every opportunity to harass Filipino fishermen and military personnel within the Philippines’ Exclusive Economic Zone. Imagine, the temerity of this gwei lo invader to intimidate Filipinos within the sovereign zone of the Philippines, and then to denounce the Philippines as a “pathetic cry baby” for filing a case against China with the United Nations–the only civilized course of action under international law and unfortunately the only course of action of a militarily inept country like the Philippines–readPMA stands for Philippine Magnanakaw Academy.

Let’s face it. The chips are stacked against the Philippines (the term is monumentally screwed), particularly as China is wasting no time in building a massive and permanent military presence within Philippine areas in the South China Sea, in the guise of fulfilling “international responsibilities and expectations of the international community”. In fact, the South China Sea is now governed by the simple rules of the new gwei lo goons in town: (1)  “Political power grows out of the barrel of agun.” (Mao Zedong) and (2) “He who has thegold makes the rules.” In the end, China will have military control over one of the most important shipping lanes in the world, threaten massive volumes of regional and global trade and exploit abundant natural resources it does not rightfully own. Fair warning to all the apathetic nations out there . . . Today, the Philippines is first in line to be force-fed the rotten staple of the new Sinocentric Hegemonic World Order. Tomorrow, it’s the turn of the rest of the world.


What to do when a militarily inept country like the Philippines or, for that matter, any ASEAN country cannot confront China militarily and, therefore, cannot secure their own territorial waters from the likes of the new gwei lo?

The private sector throughout ASEAN should organize, train and equip a band of well-paid special forces that will raid the reclamation activities of China within their respective UNCLOS 200 nautical mile Exclusive Economic Zones. Each mission objective would be idiot proof: OBLITERATE THE GWEI LO . . . then withdraw, Vietcong guerrilla style–an appropriate response that might actually be understood by the barbaric gwei lo. Because it’s not sanctioned by any of the ASEAN governments, which individually (or even collectively) cannot possibly engage China in a frontal military campaign (and expect to be victorious), then China cannot declare war on any of the ASEAN countries. These raids would be sustained indefinitely until China complies with UNCLOS. A violent tit for every gwei lo tat.

Click on the following links to view the Philippine government documentaries on the South China Sea dispute, the first of which was aired on June 12, 2015 (Philippine Independence Day):

Episode 1
Episode 2

15 Replies to “The new Gwei Lo: China’s preposterous ‘nine-dotted line’ South China Sea claim”

  1. um … WHAT “private sector” are we talking about here, VV? S.E. Asia has no functioning business community to speak of, apart from the oligarchy (who are, in effect, the government).

    The key word in your post is ‘inept’. Never mind militarily inept; Most of S.E. Asia can barely keep its tricycles functioning, never mind equip an armed force to kick back against China. The Chinese are invading because they can. This is what happens when an entire country sits around for 50 years to piss and moan about the Spaniards.

    1. Marius, for starters, the likes of Danding Cojuangco, who had a private army trained by Israeli commando mercenaries; the heirs of Marcos, who still have most of their ill-gotten wealth stashed away; the Salim Group of Indonesia cum super-crony of Suharto; the heirs of Suharto themselves, who have even more ill-gotten wealth stashed away than the Marcos heirs . . . to name a few. Any one of these oligarchs could easily finance and sustain an elite team of commandos to blow these gwei los into smithereens . . . and it’s a small price to pay for all they’ve stolen from their respective national coffers.

      1. Absolutely. But that was sort of my point. The only competent people in the country are the oligarchs. Yes, they can raise a feudal army: excellent for keeping the plebs under the boot. Against the Chinese military – even with guerrilla tactics? Not a hope in hell.

        I have no fondness for the Chinese, but what’s happening was inevitable: the Philippines spits and swears at those dirty old American soldiers – get those foreigners out! – but is completely powerless to deal with any genuine foreign threat.

        1. It is called ‘unconsciously crapping in your own rice-bowl’ ,and Filipino’s seem to be very good at it.

      2. WAY 2 GO, Virtual One !!!! it is the exact plan of the ‘Guerilla’ who knows he can not defeat the enemy in a legitimate battle-field, and so wages an ‘attack’ and ‘withdraw’ strategy to do as much structural damage to the plans of the ‘Gwen-Lo’ as possible without starting a war. To any one captured during one of these raids a cyanide capsule to be eaten, rather than be mercilessly tortured, then executed.
        A plan like this ,to stop the delusional Chinese claims of borders long ago extinct, needs secrecy in planning and people with balls of steel.
        GOOD LUCK. it also just maybe that the resources of the SCS/WPS have been divided already, between China and Western Corporations.The Chinese lack the drilling technology,at present time, to drill deep-sea oil-wells….and after seeing the BP disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, the West’s corporate entities may not be all that much better. BUT WHO CAN STOP THEM FROM TRYING?
        One thing is for sure, the Philippines has been shut out, as far as sharing in the proceeds, of whatever is dug out of these waters. All because for the better part of 70 years the leaders of the country refused to stop pillaging the countries coffers and natural resources and refused to spend money on a military capable of standing up to the bully from the North. It could have been done too, now it is too late and the country is screwed and forced to whine like a little girl to anyone who will listen. PATHETIC.

  2. Always keep your foes confused. If they are never certain who you are or what you want, they cannot know what you are like to do next.

  3. It is the Fault of the Aquino government that this “Gwei Lo”, or whatever you call it; is being tried on Philippine territories. China has felt that Aquino is a WEAK LEADER, on his behavior during the Chinese tourist massacre in Luneta . He was nowhere to be seen, in that crisis.

    Second, Aquino used the money for the AFP Modernization on his : PORK BARREL BRIBERY, DAP, PDAF,etc..

    AFP cannot fight with World War I battleships, and World War II fighter planes…

    Complete reliance on the U.S. , to protect us; while they drove away the Americans from their bases in the Philippines, was the stupid strategy that the Aquinos and the Filipino politician have taken.

    China will slowly claim Philippine territories, part by part. VietCong type of Guerilla Warfare will never work in this conflict. It will encourage China, to grab more Philippine territories.

    1. The actions of the Filipino, all along, are the mark of a confused yet indignant teenager bent on determining his identity.(Example:Complete reliance on the USA military and then sending them packing as if they were not needed.WHAT ? Ridiculous ,self-defeating actions such as these are the actions of a child that does not know what is best for him.) And then coming up a bit short due to his own short-comings.
      Reap what it is you shall sow.

  4. Here’s my ultimate solution in order to end the Chinese aggression in West Philippine Sea:

    1. Let’s clone Genghis Khan, aka The Butcher of China.
    2. Rody Duterte should become our country’s next president.
    3. All of the above.

  5. You are right, these two principles, which remain ingrained in the subconscious of an average Mainland Chinese, are the toxins that does not allow them to have a worldview as the rest:
    1) “Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun.” (Mao Zedong) and
    2) “He who has the gold makes the rules.”

    It makes “life, liberty and pursuit of happiness” a hazy proposition, and thus, they could not fully appreciate that in a market economy, decisions about production and consumption are really made by individual producers and consumers, and that out of the chaos there is an invisible hand that somehow allow most of the individual pursuit of self-interest to lead to something good for the society as a whole. It is strange for them that we look at government as an interference, though necessary, in our lives.

    But, one can’t blame them. They look around and what do they see? The political influence of the US all over the place. US is the wealthiest nation (till last year) and has the mightiest army. It exercises its political clout in the world which sometimes adversely impacts them, and the US Dollar dictates the global economic rules, some of which they don’t like. Conclusion: the above two principles must be correct. That makes them understand what their government is doing In the foreign arena. We see offensive moves from their end; they see it only as defensive.

    But, there is an increasing number of Chinese that don’t like what their govt is doing. The incredible number of millionaires and billionaires they are churning out each year has made them realize that there is something nice, wonderful and great about what we take for granted: the individual pursuit of happiness. But, that also means there are per new millionaire, tens, hundreds, or thousands more of workers who are disgruntled

    Since 2014, China has become the Numero Uno economy, but the average Chinese don’t feel it. The predominant thinking is they are still Third World. China’s Per Capita GDP remains below the global average. For sure, there is a continuing call for more autonomy and more decentralization, and thus, the delicate balance of how much of these should be allowed is front and center preoccupation of the govt. I will advance that China is a social volcano, and that is the reason why the govt maintains a firm grip even if they wish they could decentralize more. They know that if they cannot expand the middle class as quickly as they should, that volcano will erupt.

    That is the situation we could have exploited; not as a catalyst to quicken the volcanic eruption, as if we could do that even in our wildest imagination, but to let them know that we are one with them for we too are a goddamn one hell of a social volcano. With creativity, we should have had initiated an exchange at all levels, as say, student and professional exchanges, cultural, business, academic, etc. and tourism (sh*t, why could he not have apologized to Hong Kong after the Luneta hostage crisis) Whatever. Gloria was already into this “exchanges” one way or the other, but it was still something half-hearted. It is not yet late to have a comprehensive program along this line. But, it has to be massive and with clear objectives, not allowing the typical mediocrity in our govt to creep in; otherwise, we might as well forget it as it might just be another source of tongpats, as that of PDAF and CCT, for our ever-hungry Lacoste crocodiles.

    The thing is China wants to be mighty rich, but they do not want to be like US, which is controlled by big businesses. They already have their own “oligarchs”, and that is the Central Government. They like to maintain it that way if they could, even if more people prefer something like America where there are big houses and big cars. Hahaha, I don’t know. Except when they travel abroad which is a time they splurge, the Chinese are the stingiest, I think, and that is why they have not helped their economy as consumers. They are natural producers,which is a problem if their trading partners have problems.

    I am one with those who maintain the hypothesis that if we didn’t harass the Chinese fishermen early in the term of PNoy with our newly acquired, refurbished Coast Guard ship, China probably would not have formulated an aggressive policy for West PHL Sea. Not sure, but I think it was after that that they came out with the Nine Dash Line. What we don’t know, and can’t know, is if they were simply waiting for that very incident and their similar spat with Vietnam, so that they could justify the announcement of the 9-Dash. Anyway, that is water under the bridge, and it is not yet the time for recrimination among us (that will come after 2016.) Right now, we should be able to project our oneness with our government, as we should in any foreign policy, even if it is so difficult with a govt run like a student council.

    So, what to do now? Of course, we should support the case of PHL in the international Court — wholeheartedly. However, we should be aware that China has always seen us as a puppet of the US. This is not just govt thinking; it is a notion shared by average Mainland Chinese. In fact, quite a few of them think that we are just a rubber door mat to be stepped in and stepped out by Americans as they please, and I kid not (the reason why I have been broaching student exchanges, cultural exchange, etc, as I have earlier. I think if they get to know us better, with our warts and all, it will do us a lot of good.)

    They could not care less what we do. If we are just a rubber door mat, they too can step in and step out. Among the ASEAN, we are feeling the most pressure because in the total scheme of things this is really about the US and them. One could say, it is not really about us. But, we could be the mosquito caught between two big hands if they decide to do a friendly high-five, or the ball they could kick around if they decide to play a soccer match with nuclear weapons, a match that may be over in less than 90 minutes without the need of overtime play.

    The last thing we need is war (unless, of course, the desperate hawks among us prevail, for war may be one way of getting the society cleanse and of starting all over again — a morbid joke, of course, and hopefully, it remains just that, a joke.) But, it will take a lot of imagination for the next administration to remove the perception we are just a rubber/ door mat. That means we can not repeat sending a Trillanes on a secret mission to patch up things. Sending a nincompoop was an insult to them for it means we have not been taking them seriously, verifying their belief we are a US puppet.

    It also means that there are times that we should allow them to telegraph our punches. If we probably consulted with them more in the past, even if it is just letting them know all the time that we have no choice but file a case in court, then maybe the air may not have been this acrimonious as today. On the other hand, it could have given the impression that we are a confident lot.

    But, this can’t be just a question of sovereignty, although that is quite important. It can’t be just because our pride is hurt. Somehow, we should find a more lofty reason than that, like among other things, why, really a big WHY, we should be respected as a nation. And here, my mind goes blank for I think this should really be a collective effort on the part of all, not just by words, but more critically, by deeds as well. Hopefully, more could be convinced that we now have real adversaries surrounding us, and if we remain with our complacency, there are dire consequences.

    People, please think why we should be respected as a nation and do something about it, even in your own small way and in your little corner of the territory.

    1. How can we earn respect; if Aquino, himself, dived into his “Hole”, during the Chinese tourists Luneta standoff/massacre? He was nowhere to be seen… However, to show , he is control: he bullies/bribes his opponents…

      1. @ HT, IDK what you were doing that day, but I was there and so was Benigno Aquino 3. He, along w/Alfred Lim , mayor of Manila at the time, went for a dinner break when the hostage taker freaked out about his brother being man-handled by the cops and the idiotic Filipino SWAT TEAM then stormed the bus,unsuccessfully….and the guy was able to throw the grenades back out of the bus and then had time to shoot the hostages. The SWAT team did not even have enough knowledge as to how to open a locked bus door from the outside.
        BUT, the one and only point here is, BS Aquino was there that day, I saw him. How he had the balls to go eat dinner, IDK but he was there for all to see.

        1. @Ebola Ray:

          Okay, whether Aquino was there or was not there, does not matter. If he was there,he would had prevented that Chinese tourist massacre…why did he not lift a finger to do it? Is he too incompetent, to handle the situation?

          It is just an insane Policeman, he is dealing with, at that time. Those SWAT Team would had just thrown in some stun grenades…or drilled a hole on the bus; and put some gas that would make the insane Policeman loss consciousness.

          But …No… they feasted on the nearby restaurant. while people were being murdered. How stupid can you get?

  6. Doesn’t really matter whether talks continue. China just uses their weak historical claim as a gambit. While we obsess over the weakness of the Chinese claim, their military hardware is already being constructed. By the time we realize we’d been duped, the Chinese air force and navy are already breathing down our necks.

    Fuck the talks and actually do something. China wont risk a war, she’s too smart for that. China would lose far more important stuff than the islands when it actually raises its finger. Hell, the AFP can just build a simple garage and throw in a few rusted jeepneys and label it a base. Just do something. The talks are a trap!

  7. The Phil is surrounded by water inside out and we don’t even have a submarine to defend our waters. Just 2 2nd hand ships ? And some rubber boats. What can you expect. Then we are proud enough to kick out the only ally who had the muscle to defend us. It’s called lack of foresight or. Just plain old fashioned stupid thinking. We deserve the shithole we got ourselves into. Cry like a baby all you want- that’s the only thing you’re really good at : “save me!!!!”

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