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A Comprehensive look at the South/East China Sea Disputes

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posted on May, 30 2014 @ 08:42 PM
Good evening all!

I came across a couple resources and after getting through reading them both, I thought I would share what I found. One is public domain and very detailed and one is very user friendly. Wouldn't you know it, they aren't the same one. I'll start with the detailed one.

Overview of the South China Sea

(Self Created using NatGeo)

. . .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. . .

Indeed it does, and indeed they certainly do. I was rather surprised to see just HOW much is out there and just how many claimed how much of the south China Sea.

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).

.....but, that's not all. The Chinese have higher ideas of what may be out there. Much much higher.

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.

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.
(From the U.S. Energy Information Administration)

The EIA site also has very detailed break downs, far beyond anything quoted, by nation and more than once. It covers different aspects of the topic, with text analysis.

It's a very thorough look, in my opinion, and very well worth time taken to read it all, if this is an area that really interests you.


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.

The Council on Foreign Relations is the subject of much for conspiracy theory, and I don't bring that up but to say it has been, and not a part of what I'm looking at here. What they also do is produce international analysis which is both interesting and extremely informative. In this case, they almost out did themselves.

East and South China Sea Claims is an interactive map that shows the claims one by one or overlapping. They all come to overlap, in many places.

By The Numbers gives a downright easy to read look at the stakes and the amounts, at least in what is known and provable as recoverable.

Finally, the Historical Context section has a 42 page moving timeline back to 1895 for the history and the origins of the conflict.

(These are anchors across the same page, and give direct links to the section of interest)


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.

Territorial Claims in the South China Sea / Spratly Islands..

That interactive map shows things in a different way with specific display of energy leases and claims as well as the territorial claims overall.

Hope this all helps in a look behind the headlines for more depth!

posted on May, 30 2014 @ 09:09 PM

off-topic post removed to prevent thread-drift


posted on May, 30 2014 @ 10:05 PM
China won't let it go easy,they already own like half of Africa and here in Venezuela and LatinAmerica they got quite a presence too. Contrary to what 99% of ATS thinks, United States isn't the only country with imperialist ambitions.

China,as most countries, are striving to be self-sufficient and i'm guessing this area with its resources is crucial for this.
However i don't think it will be a petty diplomatic dispute, some concessions in the form of dirty work will have to be made.

posted on May, 30 2014 @ 10:42 PM
Interesting and very long read. Many thanks Rascally for putting it together.

I think everyone's claims are just so much hot air. China's claims going back 3,500 years are just, yea, OK. Imagine the claims Rome or Britain could make based on the history of who controlled the sea in the past.

The South China Sea will go to whoever has the balls and bombs to take it.

When you read all of that wealth of information, you get a feel for just how childish Politicians can be. From Manilla, "Hey lets change the name of the sea so it sounds like it is ours, that will fix those Chinese!" Really, how damn stupid can you get. I think that Manilla should lose its claim just for being a tool.

I can see China muscling in on the whole area and some other countries properties having accidents along the way. China is just waiting, waiting patiently for the US to fall in a financial heap of doggy doos before it moves out and simply takes what it wants.

Let's face it, the "World Court" and other such organizations are in truth, Western influenced to a high degree. China and Russia and many other countries cannot get any sort of help from them so they do not give them the time of day.

It will come down to War or else the smaller nations will back down.

But in the background, I can just see NK taking out SK and Japan before being obliterated by China, and China goes, tsk, tsk, well, you started it, we finished it. Condolences for your losses and oh, we are taking our Islands, consider it payment for saving you.


posted on May, 30 2014 @ 11:26 PM
China will play the long will not desist and will not waver from its stated aims or it will be war.....they will just keep at it till it pops...then hope to muscle the opposition....

posted on May, 31 2014 @ 12:26 AM
a reply to: pheonix358

THE MOMENT 1 US trooper dies from any means China,the debt to them will be confiscated and we owe them NOTHING.Hostages make lousy soldiers.

posted on May, 31 2014 @ 01:32 AM
a reply to: cavtrooper7

It is your Government that would have to take that pretty big step.

They will not do that for 1 trooper. They would not do that for 10,000 troopers. They just don't care about troopers. Troopers are numbers on a board, nothing more.

You have WAY too much faith in Uncle Sam.


posted on Jun, 1 2014 @ 01:57 AM
a reply to: pheonix358
FAITH? Oh no you misunderstand.My FIGHTING forces ARE superior yes but they are controlled by these corrupt politicians.
Hell ,I'm still waiting to see if they are stupid enough to try and disarm us. I don't have faith in our "system" and never have, people should never be treated like this,and WE ARE THE BEST ONE IN MY OPINION.That is how bad it sucks right now.Fitting in is nothing to me.Popular culture is degrading and pointless.
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.

edit on 1-6-2014 by cavtrooper7 because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 1 2014 @ 03:26 AM
a reply to: cavtrooper7

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.

The moment you do that, every other country on Earth dumps your currency and bonds just as fast as they can. They may even seize your assets in their country to pay their losses.

At this point, your entire Economy goes belly up.

China on the other hand losses 1T US Dollars so she would just think, "Up Yours" and seize all of your assets and a lot of US Companies in the process and then stop exports to you. You may be the biggest client, but there are other markets like South America, Europe and Australia, not to forget Africa.

You cannot wipe off debt like that ..... well you can .... you just have to go to war with them!

Good luck with surviving the eventual outcome of that little decision.

Glad to understand that you know you Government!


posted on Jun, 1 2014 @ 05:48 PM
Thanks Wabbit, for creating this interesting thread. SnF.

I learned some years ago that the Chinese laid their claim on these islands based on some really old Chinese graves that were found there.

Soon, they will claim Australia and New Zealand too...LOL...

posted on Jun, 1 2014 @ 05:56 PM
a reply to: pheonix358
You don't GET it this isn't like college,the people who are actually DOING these things couldn't care less about those factors if the plan is to minimize China.We are already going back to Clark and talking to Viet nam about BASES there. When the bases get hit,we shall see.
Good God people I don't ask for this to happen but crap at least pay attention.

Custer failed to listen to his scouts and then we all know what happened...

posted on Jun, 5 2014 @ 08:15 PM
**** Thread Update!

I just came across this within an unclassified Department of Defense report sent to Congress on "Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China 2014". Since this thread is intended to give some background and perspective on the East China Sea as well as the South, it seemed an important thing to update.

(Source Report)

(Larger View)

Here is to denying ignorance!

edit on 6/5/2014 by Wrabbit2000 because: Added Thumb View

posted on Sep, 27 2014 @ 05:25 PM
Curiously, China continues "building" their own islands in the South Pacific for landing strips.
"China has had a presence at many of these reefs since the late 1980s, when it began building platforms ostensibly under the guise of "sea-level monitoring". Fiery Cross Reef is one of the more notable examples of this, but has since been developed into a PLA Navy garrison, complete with pier, greenhouses, and coastal artillery.

"In the case of Johnson South Reef, China wrested the reef from Vietnamese control in 1988 in a skirmish that left up to 70 Vietnamese personnel dead. Since the images of reclamation at the reef were published in May 2014, plans showing a runway, hangars for fast jets, a port, wind turbines, and greenhouses have been widely circulated online. The plans were first announced in 2012 and then published by the No. 9 Design & Research Institute of China State Shipbuilding Corporation, although they were later taken down from the institute's website."

(NOTE: These are expensive constructions to build and maintain. And one hurricane and they're gone. So what is China getting out of this, beyond "I've got more islands than you do" one ups-man-ship?)


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