In the past few years China has rapidly built artificial Islands in the South China Sea, cramming them with buildings, runways, and lighthouses.Those projects came under legal attack in a landmark ruling by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague on July 12.
Nature, though, may prove to be an even more powerful threat than international law.
While China promptly vowed to ignore the ruling and continue building islands as it sees fit, it could find itself in a losing battle against waves, typhoons, and rising sea levels as it tries to bolster structures built atop fragile, damaged reefs.
Typhoons and super typhoons occasionally rip through the South China Sea, especially during the summer months. A super typhoon carrying winds of 185 km per hour or higher and waves of possibly six meters could wipe it out, or cause severe damage at the very least.