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Overview of the South China Sea
. . .The sea is rich in resources and holds significant strategic and political importance.
The area includes several hundred small islands, rocks, and reefs, with the majority located in the Paracel and Spratly Island chains. Many of these islands are partially submerged land masses unsuitable for habitation and are little more than shipping hazards. For example, the total land area of the Spratly Islands encompasses less than 3 square miles.
Several of the countries bordering the sea declare ownership of the islands to claim the surrounding sea and its resources. . .
The study included a significant area of the South China Sea, which the USGS estimates may contain anywhere between 5 and 22 billion barrels of oil and between 70 and 290 trillion cubic feet of gas in as-yet undiscovered resources (not including the Gulf of Thailand and other areas adjacent to the South China Sea).
As the USGS assessment did not examine the entire area, undiscovered resources could be greater. In November 2012, the Chinese National Offshore Oil Company (CNOOC) estimated the area holds around 125 billion barrels of oil and 500 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in undiscovered resources, although independent studies have not confirmed this figure.
(From the U.S. Energy Information Administration)
The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) has not yet resolved ownership disputes in the South China Sea. The 1982 convention created a number of guidelines concerning the status of islands, continental shelves, exclusive economic zones (EEZ), enclosed seas, and territorial limits. UNCLOS states that countries with overlapping claims must resolve them by good faith negotiation.
_________________________________________________Those territorial claims are hard to quite get when it just says "ALL", so, that brings us to the second resource. It's a rather powerful way of seeing it. In fact, it's a whole presentation in itself, quite literally, bringing several ways of covering a bit of everything on the subject.
_________________________________________________In addition to the above, I found a couple maps the New York Times created, and most helpfully on them, a blow up of the Spratly Islands to see just who claims what and in what way.
What the PURPOSE of such an act to perform is to eliminate our debt to China by saying so. By law we can and ,no doubt,will just as soon as we get set up in the pacific.