Unravelling the Strands of the South China Sea Conundrum: A Critical Analysis of China's Actions and Statements

Ali Movaghar

Abstract


The South China Sea remained more or less calm until the 1960s when significant amounts of oil and natural gas reserves were discovered underneath the seafloor. Subsequently, the surrounding States began to lay competing claims to geographical features and maritime zones in the South China Sea in an unprecedented manner and the South China Sea Dispute was born. The claims are also driven by the fact that one-third of today’s global shipping, carrying $3 trillion in trade each year, passes through the South China Sea the lucrative fisheries of which are crucial for the food security of millions of people in Southeast Asia. Among the claimants, however, China has laid a distinctive claim by its baffling map, the Nine-Dash Line, to nearly the entire South China Sea and its equivocal statements and premeditated physical actions including enlarging the insular features and militarisation of the South China Sea are alarming and have raised several legal issues. The South China Sea, therefore, is probably the world’s most important body of water which requires a meticulous analysis of the engendered issues.

Keywords


South China Sea Dispute; Nine-Dash Line; Law of the Sea; Historic Claims

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