The Importance of The South China Sea
Throughout history China has been a powerhouse, being the biggest player in the oriental region, now they have grown to be a behemoth on an international scale. With a strong, bolstering economy, that continues to grow at a breakneck speed. Experts say that China will soon become the biggest economy in the world, eclipsing the United States. Like many big players in the world, they don’t play nice. From the past to the present China has been a bully to its neighbors in the region. And with strong manufacturing output and a vibrant economy, China has been getting bolder.
Focusing on the area called the South China Sea. China has been laying claims of sovereignty over the sea, getting into disputes with other countries in the region. The South China Sea is a region that carries tremendous economic, and geostrategic importance. With around 30% of maritime shipping of the world going through the South China Sea. On top of that the region carries rich, and bountiful fisheries, critical food security for the Southeast Asian countries that is connected to the area.
Western Nations Challenges China’s Claim
Sailing through the South China Sea, many Southeast Asian ships have reported of Chinese ships aggressive behaviors. Fortunately, many Western Nations have formally object China’s claim on the South China Sea. The United States has been conducting Freedom of Navigation by sailing through the sea with the aid of France and the U.K. Hope has been sparked as many Southeast Asian countries do not have the capabilities to go against China, lest they get hit with a hard-hitting sanction. Furthermore many countries have stated that China’s claims extend over 12 nautical miles (22 km/14 miles), any farther would constitute as international waters.
It’s not just that Chinese ships are engaging in Aggressive behavior, China has been building artificial islands. Across the South China Sea are sprawling with several islands that China has built no doubt to serve as outposts, refueling depots and checkpoints.
Instability has grip the region, with many Southeast Asian countries readying themselves. Vietnam has been sending naval ships in response to Chinese aggression. Engaging in combat drills, sometimes with allies such as the United States. Furthermore, the Philippines are holding military drills and conducting maritime exercises due to China’s incursion of in the South China Sea.
This conflict seems to be a powder keg that can light up with the slightest spark. As China is the main instigator, many countries are blaming China for disrupting peace in the region. As a matter of fact, it’s not only the Southeast Asian countries are worried but Japan as well. Seeing that if China has control of the South China Sea that could cause them to be more aggressive in other areas of the region as well.
Heating up, Is the Sea boiling for a war?
Again many countries are involved in this, with the contending forces ramping up military activities. But engaging in war is not all that simple anymore, chucking nukes is not the same as chucking rocks. A catastrophic event that could wipe humanity is a deterrent, making nations to think again. But with tensions rising up war seems to be a likely probability.