Hi, I’m Brian Wiklendt, Defense Base lawyer for Garfinkel Schwartz and I’m coming to you from Winter Park, Florida today. I’m writing this at The Wine Barn, a wine distributor known for its wood-fired pizza.
In 2017, we explained that China “reclaimed” the South China Sea for economic purposes and began building under the sea land that is now above sea level. However, China’s actions are based on an ancient map whose date has been disputed.
Malaysia, Brunei, Taiwan, Vietnam, and the Philippines have also thought that they hold claim to the “land.”
2018 Civilian Contractor Update on the South China Sea
This is an update on places where U.S. troops are located and where civilian contractors will very possibly have to go in 2018.
You may end up working on a continent near the disputed area and as a U.S. government contractor you’re covered by the Defense Base Act.
The Defense Base is a law created to protect the health care and compensation owed anyone injured while working as a contractor for the U.S. government.
China has actually built—physically created land — where there was no land before. These are the dispute islands in the South China Sea.
72 Acres of New Land
According to the Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative and reported by The Washington Post, China has built 72 acres of new land.
This is land built from below sea level to above water and the land is now used for airplane hangars, military bases, radar, and missile shelters.
All this was done so that China’s military may patrol the South China Sea.
In an effort to de-escalate and prevent a military action, China in late summer 2017 agreed not to claim further lands or islands according to Reuters.
In December 2017, Forbes reports that Philippines and China are each attempting to protect its own commercial interests.
Why is the South China Sea an Issue?
Why is the South China Sea an issue? Because trillions of dollars in natural gas and oil are below sea level in the area.
And there is more than $5 trillion in world trade that moves annually in the South China Sea.
We want to reiterate to our Civilian Contractors that based on the knowledge we’ve gathered over the years, it’s safe to say there’s close to a now 4-to-1 ratio generally in the number of overseas civilian contractors vs. military troops.
High Demand for Civilian Contractors
We know from talking with our clients that there is a very high demand for our civilian contractors around the world and overseas in high risk danger zones.
We hope you never have to face an injury, but if you’re traveling to any other country, you should know first what process to follow if you’re injured and what options are available to you under the Defense Base Act which is a federal law.
Please stay safe and be prepared. This is Brian Wiklendt with Garfinkel Schwartz saying thank you for your bravery. We have offices in Maitland, Florida, and in Cocoa Beach, Florida. But we work with clients across the United States and around the globe. Call anytime 800-393-2999.