AEGEE International Politics Journal

South China Sea

The complex web of disputes concerning South China Sea may on the surface appear as regular disputes concerning territory and resources (which isn’t uncommon) but underneath it is underlined by the broader strategic tussles between two muscular rivals of international politics. While Taiwan, Philippines Malaysia, Brunei, Indonesia have their own issues with each other, their issues are often overshadowed by the aggressive posturing by the regional superpower China. China’s aggressive expansion in the 20th century has been an issue to a number of countries in Asia. Japan a key ally of the US and the west in Asia has decided to beef up its military to counter the rising threat of Chinese expansionism. Likewise, the burgeoning economic and military might of China is forcing the South- East Asian nations to see China as their common enemy. China’s is refusal to participate in a United Nations arbitration process over a territorial conflict with the Philippines shows possible high handed tactics, which may add fuel to the fire in terms of a need for unified stance against the common enemy.

USA seeks to benefit from this growing dissatisfaction against Chinese tactics by encouraging more of international involvement in the process of resolution of the existing conflicts. Isolating China on such geopolitical issues may prove to be a useful in forcing it to drop its uncompromising stances over the territories it has laid claim upon. China on the other hand is extremely cautious of any US involvement in the issues concerning the entire territory. China’s growing involvement in the Middle East under Russia’s wing and its rapidly expanding business presence Africa has sent alarm bells ringing into the ears of the US-led western hegemony. USA already has a strong presence in the pacific region with its firm allies in Japan, South Korea and Taiwan. However, involving itself in the unraveling or the further complication of the South China Sea will be seen as a key exercise by the USA in the strategic game.

According to the US Geographical Survey, South China Sea has 11 Billion barrels of Oil and 190 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. This figure is enough to describe ‘purpose’ of the race in the Sea. And, unluckily still no clear evidence to show the individual ownership for these resources (China, Vietnam, Malaysia, Taiwan, Philippines, Indonesia and Brunei). This has triggered world ‘ace’ countries into strategic and military race. Recent updates illustrate that it has emerged as powerful supplement to go for next ‘cold war’ era. Especially when US-China relationship is facing tough time these days from Snowden’s NSA date mining secret divulgence to perceive Chinese hacking in to the US computer system. With enormous amount of resources underneath the sea, isn’t it is the future baseline regarding shift of ‘axis of oil politics’ from Middle East to South China Sea? With mounting strong proof, this could be the catalyst for future conflict and thus South China Sea stability and position greatly marks tomorrow Geo-politics.

US appealingly try to mark her position in the sea as a result she won’t have to face any difficult time for energy in coming future. From the beginning, US is constantly playing ‘ safely’ with Saudi Arabia combining Jordan and now possibly from Iran (Best hubbies for the US in the Middle East) for resources and for escalating her interest around the region. But, if US get any ‘bonus’ point in South China issue, US’s Middle Eastern policy may change radically and especially Saudi Arabia has to face, perhaps ‘crook’ eye of the US. Reportedly, till today US have kept ‘silence’ in regards to these Saudi Arabian policies towards Muslim ideologies due to Saudi biggest ‘tag’ as an oil exporter in the world.

From: Saurav (IPWG)

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