The dispute over the South China see has lasted since a long time now. Due to the presence of rich oil and gas preserves in the sea, the sea holds remarkable importance. This significantly makes it harder to reach a decision. The South China sea is regarded as one of the major maritime trade routes. This dispute has a history of more than 40 years now. It was initially China which claimed to have a right over this sea as it was a part of its territory. It was until the declaration of Cairo Declaration and the Potsdam Declaration, all Chinese territories could own the sea.
Recently, many issues have been raised regarding this dispute. In 2012, tension rose when Beijing snatched Scarborough Shoal away from The Philippines. The two states had already quarreled due to several issues. Due to illegal poaching by Chinese fishermen, allegations were already raised by the Phillippines against China. After a series of meetings, it was decided that both the countries would withdraw from the Shoal. Manila did, but Beijing did not follow. China prevents the boats from Philippine from the Shoal. As a result, Manila highlighted this issue and filed a case against China. This was filed in January 22, 2013. The Philippines raise this issue and demands for its rights. China, however, states that until the territorial issues are not resolved, these issues can reach no consensus. China refused to be a part of any meeting. This has worsened the situation. As China refuses to be a part of the proceedings, the talks have failed to reach a decision.
In May 2014, another issue was raised when an oil company in China moved one of its rigs into the waters. That area was claimed by Vietnamese south of the Paracel Islands. This created tension between the Vietnamese and Chinese. Furthermore, Chinese government remained stubborn and continues to expand there are around the sea. Beijing carried out construction of the reclaimed land. China, channeled tons and tons of sand to increase the size of the features they had a right over. The construction included and airstrip which could receive military aircraft. This was obviously not accepted by other states who held a share of the sea.
The dispute over the South China Sea are getting closer to boil over as Chian continues to expand its territory along the sea coast. China is carrying out rapid reclamation throughout the South China Sea. No state has been found to broader its geopolitical ambition as much as China. These activities of China are the cause of concern.
However, it is not just China who uses reclamation of the South China Sea. During the year, 1999, Malaysia was found constructing a concrete building on Investigator Shoal. This concrete building stood two-story tall. Not only did Malaysia constructed this building, but a radar station, pier and a helipad were also constructed. In 2007, Taiwan constructed reclamation projects on Pratas Island too. China carried out construction on the Woody Island. This Island in the Paracle Islands was transformed into 7,900-foot runway, three ports and PLA Navy and Air force assets.
The South China Sea owns remarkable importance. It has important trade routes. The South China Sea contains 17.7bn tons of crude oil. The reserves are next to the reserves of Saudia Arabia. In this way, the South China Sea remains an interest for a lot of states. The sea is also a valuable fishing area. Around 10% percent of the global fish catch is done from this sea. Talks should be held between states to solve this dispute before the situation gets worse.
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