Sample Political Science Essay Paper on Issues in South China Sea

Issues in South China Sea

South China Sea has had disputes over ownership by several countries in relation to the profusion of atolls, shoals and reefs that characterizes the 1.2million square mile of sea (Schofield 1). The South China Sea harbors key channels of global commerce and is a hub for regional and international navies including the US who depends on this sea transit for rapid deployments between the pacific and the Indian ocean(1). The South China Sea also harbors marine life which is an important food item in the region. The continued resistance and disputes between china and the immediate countries bouldering the sea might in future lead to regional instability, world trade interruptions, environmental issues as well as military confrontation. Measures have been put in place to address the issue built little progress/success has been achieved. This being the case, this paper will address the various issues facing the South China Sea.

            The South China Sea being semi-enclosed ocean area is surrounded by china, Taiwan, Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei, Singapore, Indonesia and Singapore (4). It has small islands, islet, rocks and coral reef features that are contested by the surrounding countries who claim ownership/sovereignty (4) South China Sea is an important highway for global trade and energy supplies. The area is hotly contested by mainly six countries because underneath it lies great resources that every country wants to exploit. The area also provides a vital link between the pacific and Indian Ocean therefore making it an important pathway that could promote any country’s economic status since it could ensure the freedom of navigation through these waters (3). With 90% of the global trade being facilitated through the water, the south china sea, the south china sea  are an important pathway to realizing controlled supply channels through the area.

The disputes over the China Sea has also been compounded by the perception that the area harbors significant/vast energy deposits (5). The US geological survey estimates indicates that the undiscovered oil reserve in the area amounts to 28 million barrels, with other sources indicating a more oil (8). The assumption that there also exist hydrocarbons including natural gas has led to many of the surrounding countries claim sovereign over.

The South China Sea is said to host global significant fisheries that accounts for 10% of the landed catch, thereby providing food of costal populations in the area (9). This is a reason to dispute the area. But despite this, the south china provides a breeding ground for fish and contesting the area would generally lead to the destruction of the environment and these breeding areas. Many countries in these regions rely on the maritime life that exists on these areas. This being the case, the conflict arises as a result of each country putting sanctions on the part that it governs, thereby benefiting from the marine life that exists in these areas.

China has also been an issue in the disputed sea area as it is motivated by the vast wealth available, the sea lane security as well as the other claimant’s activities (4). All these have led to the country taking an assertive stance over the other countries as it claims ownership of the island. It has also led to its positioning of high tech submarines, destroyers, long range aircraft and other artilleries of war in the area (4). The building of an 8200airport in the area has worsened the situation as it has solidified China’s claim of ownership. Maritime claims in regard to jurisdictional claims and the delimitation of boundaries characterizes the area occupiers. The law of the sea convection which spelled out the jurisdictions tin the China Sea had questionable baselines used thus leading to their challenges and further exacerbating the issues in the area.

Work Cited

Schofield, Clive H., and Ian Storey. The South China Sea dispute: Increasing stakes and rising tensions. Jamestown Foundation, 2009.