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POLI 338 (20)
Juan Wang (20)

POLI 338 - Buszynski: South China Sea

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Political Science
POLI 338
Juan Wang

Buzsynski – South China Sea: Oil, Maritime Claims, and U.S.--China Strategic Rivalry − disputes arose after WWI, when neighbouring states scrambled to occupy islands there (China, Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines) − access to oil, gas, fish, and other ocean resources complicated claims − even this could be managed − however, now South China Sea has become focal point of U.S.--China rivalry Territorial Origins − China and Vietnam claim entire area of South China Sea and islands within − Malaysia, Philippines, Indonesia, and Brunei laid claims to contiguous areas − both 'effective occupation' legal precedent and UN Convention on the Law of the Sea work against Chinese claims − China's claims are based on history; do not carry weight in international law, which degrades China's ancestral heritage and is a source of resentment − have attempted to argue that its claims predate UNCLOS (came into effect in 1994), or to ask for special exception to it Oil, Energy, and Fisheries − existence of energy reserves prevents status quo/stalemate as solution − China seeks diversification of oil supply away from Middle East − clashes with both Vietnam and Philippines − Vietnam has sought counterbalance in India − some clashes from other ASEAN members also Great Power Contest − South China Sea becoming integrated into field of China's strategic rivalry with U.S., as China develops naval strategy and naval capabilities − if issue was simply resources, agreement to specify interaction and dispute management might have been possible − however, strategic rivalry with the U.S. reduces role of ASEAN and its ability to negotiate a resolution with China − “imparts a particular assertiveness to Chinese behavior as greater control over the South China Sea is a necessary accompaniment to its extended naval strategy and deployments” Chinese Naval Expansion − three missions: − prevent Taiwan from declaring independence − deter US with naval deployments in event of conflict − became particularly salient after U.S. deployed two aircraft carriers during Taiwan crisis of 1995-96 − protect China's trade routes and energy supply lines through Indian Ocean and Strait of Malacca − deploy sea-based second-strike nuclear capability in Western Pacific − another result of Taiwan crisis of 95-96” “Carries and [ballistic missile-carrying submarines] require access to the open seas to fulfill their mission; without it, they can be confined to a limited area and rendered virtually useless.” − to secure access to open se
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