The dispute in the South China Sea has been a troublesome issue for many centuries. The two islands in the sea, the Paracels and the Spratlys, are what countries are arguing over. Apparently to many sources, there aremany natural resources that lie within the area and could definitely offer more political/economic power for that nation.
The major nations involved in this conflict are China, Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, and Brunei. Multiple skirmishes have happened already since the onset of the 20 century. Based on careful scrutiny, China seems to have been involved in every single altercation. As a world superpower, China is willing to “fight” the nations who also claim to have control of the islands.
Specifically, China asserts that it has the right to control the largest territory, extending from the province of Hainan hundreds of miles south and east. On the other hand, Vietnam fiercely defends that China has never had sovereignty over the islands before the 1940s, and that it originally controlled over the region since the 17th century. Moreover, the Philippines declares that the islands are the closest to its nation, thus it must be their territory. Unfortunately, another altercation, between China and the Philippines, is a disagreement over the Scarborough Shoal. Last but not least, Brunei and Malaysia believe that the islands belong to them because they are within their economic exclusion zones.
On a final note, it is clearly evident to this day that if this issue can’t be solved, more issues will spring up causing major havoc in Asia.
The United Nations was obviously created to preserve international peace. The conflict in the South China Sea has finally captured the attention of the United Nations. Because the “claims” that China has made angered many Asian countries, the Philippines decided to file a case against China in 2013 through the United Nations Permanent Court of Arbitration. This committee finally decided that they will proceed to hear out the case, which will definitely change the outcome of who will take control of the area. Moreover, the continuing altercations that China has provoked multiple times force the Philippines to seek help from the United Nations Convention on Law of the Sea. The UNCLOS’ conventions have come to an end in 1982, but fully came to force in 1994. There have been 3 conferences so far, and finally came to an agreement in 1994.
<Daniel Choi Laguna Hills High School 10th Grade