55

The Chinese government has spent the last decade and more very actively pursuing the extension of their territorial waters into what is commonly accepted to be international waters, or even the territorial waters of other sovereign nations. Mostly within the South China Sea. They do this by arbitrarily claiming islands, or by creating artificial islands ...


34

As with the definition of Palestine, the definition of Israel varies depending on whom you ask. Whereas I could organize the definitions of Palestine by controversy, every definition of Israel is controversial, and likely to offend at least someone. So, here are the various modern definitions of Israel, from smallest to largest. Arguably this does not count,...


30

The reasons to contest land vary greatly, and one or more can be applicable in any given situation. Some land has strategic value. High ground, forward staging area, airplane landing ground, fleet base/port. Examples include Gibraltar, or Golan Heights, or Philippines. Falkand Islands were Royal Navy base in WWI and WWII. Crimea has Sevastopol. This gets ...


23

As stated in the question, Prussian Konigsberg was in fact depopulated by the Russians after WWII, and annexed. This was part of the terms of surrender, as the region around Gdansk in particular, had long been sore point. (The Gdansk corridor, in particular, was given to Poland after WWI as part of the terms of surrender too.) Desiring an additional warm ...


22

The long term plan of the Israeli government is to create a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza. This is even the stance of current Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who, in the Bar-Ilan speech, expressed support for a two-state solution. This came as a bit of a surprise, as Likud has traditionally been opposed to a two-state solution, as are many of ...


20

The Crimean declaration of independence is to the benefit of Russia. The Kosovan declaration of independence is to the detriment of Russia's ally, Serbia. So Russia chooses to recognise the former, but not the latter. To recognise one, but not the other is not without hypocrisy, though the same accusation could be levelled at the EU for recognising Kosovo ...


19

Quoting the Constitution: Article IV - The States Section 3 Clause 1: New States may be admitted by the Congress into this Union; but no new State shall be formed or erected within the Jurisdiction of any other State; nor any State be formed by the Junction of two or more States, or Parts of States, without the Consent of the Legislatures ...


18

Israel gained control of East Jerusalem and the West Bank during the six day war of 1967. This is why they achieved de facto control of Jerusalem. However, since WWII, conquest has largely come into disfavor among the international community as a form of territorial acquisition and establishment of political authority. If we follow the idea of de facto ...


17

International law largely forbids wars of conquest or unilateral secessions. There is a lot of fudging and hypocrisy in this but no matter where you stand, you will find some territories effectively controlled by a state (or their proxy) in a way that is disapproved by other states. The invasion of Kuwait by Iraq, Kosovo, Abkhazia, South Ossetia, or Crimea ...


15

It really depends on whom you ask. Depending on the context, people talking about "Palestine" could be referring to a few different things, though some definitions are more controversial than others. Barring historical definitions, like British Mandatory Palestine, Palestine could mean any of the following, in reverse order of controversy: The least ...


15

Israel has four options: Return to pre-1967 borders Annex the West Bank Make a deal with the Palestinians Continue the occupation The first option is strongly opposed by a majority of Israelis. Many see the land as theirs and a civil war or coup would be likely if a government intended such a plan. The second option, as Avi explained, is also not ...


14

Space, including the Moon and Mars, is international territory. No country can lay claim to it, nor can any country use it to wage warfare. Countries also cannot place WMDs in space, though conventional weapons are allowed. All countries capable of reaching these bodies have signed and ratified the treaty. I wouldn't say people are in a hurry to "conquer" ...


14

It is not about physical realities, but about political questions. In the frame of a possible two-state solution, the west of Jerusalem should be the capital of Israel and the east of Jerusalem should be the capital of Palestine. Recognizing the complete Jerusalem as the capital of Israel sends the political message that the two-state solution is seen as ...


11

The term "Palestine" can mean a number of things, and Avi's answer describes them well. However, there's another common usage, which refers to all of what is now Israel, the West Bank, and sometimes Jordan. After the Bar Kokhba revolt, the Romans renamed the area from Judea to Palestine, which was the name used (with minor variations), even by Zionists, ...


9

Who is the state head, of this kind of territory? The state head is the current state head of the United States, in this case Barack Obama Why can't they vote for the United States President inside of their territory? As the president is elected by the electoral college, which in turn is composed of a number of electors. The number of electors in each ...


9

I will try to answer from another angle. As stated in the question, after WWII Kaliningrad and the area around became part of USSR. However, an important point is that Kaliningrad became the part of RSFSR (Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic, which was the main part of USSR), while Lithuania was LSSR (Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic) and Poland ...


9

I believe that the best answer is that you look at the 1962 UN Convention on the High Seas. That is where the idea of a "flag country" is defined under international law. The short answer is: no, ships are not sovereign territory when on the high seas, no matter how they are flagged or registered. The ship's registration does, however, determine how things ...


9

It's rare that a country conquers or annexes land solely for the purpose of enlarging their territory. Usually the territory in question has some economic or strategic value beyond the land itself that makes it worth acquiring. Russia certainly didn't take Crimea because they needed room to expand. They took it because it has a huge, strategic naval base, ...


8

Summary: Chinese justification of South China Sea sovereignty relate to a centuries of interests in the region. China's true motives relate to its economic security. The common answer - that I personally heard from the mouth of a US government official based at the embassy in Beijing - is that China is using this issue to build public support for the CCP as ...


8

No, it does not appear to maintain such a revanchist claim. The Chinese and Soviets skirmished over some of this same territory back in the late 1960s, but my understanding today is that most of the substantive territorial disagreements are resolved. The parties signed a 1991 agreement (see scholarly discussion here) that wrapped up a lot of the ...


8

By control they mean who is able to enforce rules in a particular area. In most countries there is a single, unified government that controls all area within its borders. That means the government is able to enforce its rules in its land. Usually they just need to tell their people of the law, but if need be they can use police or military force. In places ...


7

Unless you consider the "Prussians," the Russians have as good a claim on Kalingrad, and the area around it, as anybody. "Prussia" used to be the fourth Baltic state, (after Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania), occupied by a people called the Prussians. It became "German" because the "Teutonic" knights returned from the Crusades in the 13th century, and wanted ...


7

The Chinese Warship, and the USNS Bowditch, were not in Subic Bay. This incident took place 50 nautical miles north west of the Subic Bay Maritime Area, outside of Philippines Territorial Waters. There are extensive contentions over which country can claim water ways in the South China Sea. The primary driver of this contention is China's belief that their ...


7

International law recognizes several ways for a sovereign nation to acquire territory. Purchasing land is a form of cession (a treaty is the document that outlines the purchase or sale of territory between states). So yes, international law recognizes the ability of a state to sell land to another state. Modern Examples In 1917 the Treaty of the Danish ...


6

Wikipedia briefly justifies it as: Union Territories of India have special rights and status due to their constitutional formation and development. They may be given this constitutional status for reasons such as safeguarding the rights of indigenous cultures of that region, averting political turmoil related to matters of administration and so on....


6

As pointed out in the Wikipedia article that you point to Governance they are military bases only. Gibraltar on the other hand is a member under special rules covering its status as a colony of the UK. Gibraltar is not a member in the sense that the UK or France are members. Gibraltar Gibraltar is a British overseas territory. The British Nationality Act ...


6

Note that the island can emerge from the water at anytime. If it does, it arguably becomes new land to claim, which would allow China to claim land in a strategic location near a neighbour. Some thing like this occurred a while back on Graham's Island. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Graham_Island_(Mediterranean_Sea)


5

If one ever read the whole passage, one should realize that Talgat Tacetdin (i.e. grand mufti) talked mostly about a slightly different thing. But as people only read what some "IBTimes" quote, I should make it clear. He spoke rather pro "panarabian" / "muslim" idea of the grand unite state with Russia as its heart. He said actually about "Russia until ...


5

Clearly ISIS is a threat to the population in Iraq and Syria. But it doesn't pose a threat to the World. In the worst case scenario the World may suffer some more 9/11 style terror attacks (which is unlikely as any such plots will likely be stopped well before they can be executed). But note that while 9/11 was perceived to be a huge game changing event and ...


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