The Chinese government is now claiming large swatches of the South China Sea. It is doing so based on two aspects of Western traditional law. One is entirely valid, the other, not at all. We ask, is this a move in the direction of liberty (the private ownership of bodies of water) or not?
What is the legitimate means utilized by this nation? It is homesteading, based on the theories of John Locke. Here, one “mixes his labor” with virgin territory, and thereby becomes its legitimate owner. (We abstract from the objection that this only applies to innocent individuals, not to illicit governments, at least according to a pure version of libertarianism, anarcho-capitalism).