With such an enormous region, China has an international border with fourteen sovereignty states; therefore, the territorial conflict among china ND its neighbors were happening frequently. Oddity Island or Sensuous in Japanese, for instance, is one of the territorial conflicts between china and Japan which often face each other with rival. Oddity Island has a long, complex history of sovereignty disputes.
Each country recognizes that the islands are located in waters rich with fish and potentially petroleum and natural gas, and have a recent pattern of using paramilitary or even military forces to test the limits of peaceful confrontation over the islands (Amelia, M. 2013). China claim over the island based on her ancient map which was ran in Mining Dynasty; on the other hand, Japan ignore the statement and believe that the island is their inherent as they occupied them for the most recent period time.
Don’t waste your time!
Order your assignment!
Japanese officials believe that since the islands had been uninhabited until the Sino-Japanese war ended in 1895, they had every right to annex the territory in January of 1 894 (Many 2013). China and Japan signed an agreement in the East China Sea providing for a Provisional Measures Zone, where the two parties would cooperate and “have access to fishery resources but exercise restrained jurisdiction” (Us 2005). Beside this, there claim which has been mentioned often in forums of World politics and appears to be one of the most important issues on international communion’s agenda is the South China Sea conflict.
This conflict is involve both China and Taiwan and four SEAN states includes Malaysia, the Philippine, Brunet and Vietnam. Because SEAN members directly involved in this dispute; therefore, it is not only the concern of Claimants but also the SEAN as a whole community. The expansion of SEAN focuses not only the scale but also its goals and objectives and to get involved not only in economic and political issues but also security issues. In fact, this is actually the adoption of regional organization in response to the need Of situations.
This is clear evidence for SEAN as a central role to play in finding solutions in the South China Sea even though it participation is still of limited effect. In order to understand the mechanisms to solve the South China Sea conflict, it is necessary to understand about the background of this conflict and also the reason why it is concern the international community. In this paper, the researcher would like to explore the causes that led the dispute happen between the major power-China and SEAN members.
The second objective is to explore the strategies that China and SEAN use to solve such an important issue of the South China Sea. The last but not least, the researcher will examine the reasons why those strategies got failure and the case of the South China Sea is still remain unresolved until nowadays. This paper is the study of Sino-SEAN relation over the South China Sea dispute. Therefore, because the researcher is lack of knowledge of Chinese language, information or any sources of data which is written in Chinese will be not used for this research.
In addition, because of the time and financial, he researcher might difficult to conduct the research through interview. For these reason, in the framework of this paper, the researcher will only use secondary sources in qualitative approach to analyze the three research objectives. Most of the information in this research Was basically gathered from e-journal, blob, newspapers, Internet, books, or documents that related to this topic. However, this research will provide you in order to improve your understanding of the South China Sea conflict and its solutions.
The South China Sea Conflict- Historical Background South China Sea is the heart of Southeast Asia occupies an area of about 48000 square miles which includes two major islands, the Parcels and Sprat’s Island. South China Sea is also part of the strategic waterway through which the sea routes from East Asia to the Middle East pass. In island name used above are the commonly used in the United State, however, in other countries, these islands are known by different other names. China, for example, refers to Parcels Island as Aisha and Sprat’s Island as Nash Island (Ronald Recourse, 2013).
During the Cold War era, the South China Sea held no strategic interest; however, with the change in the global security environment, the significance attached to this area has undergone major changes. This change can be understood in three phases, Pre-Modern, Modern, and Post-Modern. In the Pre-Modern era, territorial sovereignty were technically considered as an uninteresting or abandoned Area and also belonged to no one. There were no major disputes over the islands at that point. The modern period, lasting from the European period to the post-Cold- War period, was marked by power shifts and increasing disputes.
After the cold war, the South China Sea is become one of the major flashlight because f the importance of these Islands are the assumed presence of the abundant of natural resources such as natural oil, gas, and fisheries, as well as the strategic location which is known as the second busiest sea lane in the world. Several countries such as both China and Taiwan and other SEAN members such as Malaysia, the Philippines, Brunet, and Vietnam desire to claim sovereignty over parts of these waters for several decades (Noel M. N, 2003). The south China sea Claim The map reveals the claim of each state over the area in the South China Sea.
Based on the United Nations Convention On the Law of the Sea (UNCLOGS), it dates that every state have the right to establish the breadth of its territorial sea up to a limit not exceeding twelve nautical miles; although, China has claimed over all of the area in the South China Sea. Their competing claims are founded on a variety of historical, territorial and legal issues. China claims the Sprat’s and the Parcel islands as well as the surrounding waters and has attempted to prevent the other claimants, whether Vietnam, the Philippines or Malaysia, from developing the oil and gas potential of their own claim zones.
China said that she has a historical right to occupied in the area which as not been recognized by any other claimants. China was the first to discover, name, develop, conduct economic activities on and exercise jurisdiction of the Sprat’s Islands. Looking back to ancient China’s history, Chinese people started to develop the Nash Islands and encourage in fishing on the Island since King and Mining dynasties (1368-191 1). Hanna Island fisherman made their way to Sprat’s and Parcels Island for productive activities there such as fishing and planting tree such as coconut, papaya, and sweet potatoes etc.
China claim over the area until the early 1930 when France seized the opportunity to occupy in the South China Sea. In 1939, France invaded and occupied nine of the Nash Islands including Tapping and Gooney Islands. Then, During the World War II, Japan launched the war and control most of the China’s territory include a portion of the Nash islands. After the end of the World War II, Japan gave up its claims of the both archipelagoes and left the region unoccupied.
In 1947, the republic of China published the nine-dotted line map which each line is located close to the coasts Of other littoral States. China started to renew the claim Of all the islands around these lines include the Separately and Parcels Island. Since then, the significant of the South China Sea has been gradually recognized by its neighboring states and a campaign for effective coco potion over these islands has become a regional concern. Beside China, Twain’s claim in the South China Sea is basically similar to that of China.
In fact, the position of participants from China and Taiwan in the South China Sea Workshops has sometimes been very similar. Other claimants also raised their right in order to occupy on the area. Among SEAN states, the Philippine and Vietnam are importantly involved in this dispute. The Philippines justifies its claims to the Sprats principally on “discovery” of certain islands by Thomas Clomp, who was the Filipino layer and business, in 1947. In 1 956 Clomp proclaimed the creation of a new island state, with himself as chairman of its Supreme Council.
While no government ever recognized the lawfulness of this state, Clomp persisted with his claim until 1 974, when ownership was officially transferred under a “Deed of Assignment and Waiver of Rights” to the Philippine government. The first official by the Philippine government came in 1971; when, the Philippines arose from the scramble for effective occupation f the Sprats. The 1 sass is referred to as the golden period for disputants to occupy the Sprat’s Islands.
The Philippines established its effective control over 5 features. Vietnam also bases its claims to sovereignty over the Sprats by right of cession from a French claim to the islands first made in the 1933. The French, however, made no subsequent efforts to perfect title to the Sprats by occupation. Nor did the French act by returning after Japan’s departure following World War II, or by acting after Japan formally relinquished all title and future claims to the islands at the San Francisco Conference of 1951.
Vietnam just after its defeat by China’s troop on the Parcel, it also began to annex the Sprat’s Islands actively and occupied six of the features respect for the exclusive economic zone (ZEE) prescribes in UNCLOGS. Vietnam moved in 1975 to secure its claim to possession of the Sprats when it occupied thirteen islands Of the group. In September 1 989 Vietnam occupied three more islets, and has since taken at least nine additional atolls. By 1 999, Vietnam had stationed 600 troops on at least twenty-seven Sprat’s land formations.
Malaysia and Brunet also have asserted lams to certain islands and reefs in the Sprats, based principally on certain continental shelf provisions in the 1 982 LOS Convention. Malaysia has claimed sovereignty over twelve islands in the Sprat’s group, but those claims appear ill-founded. Serious doubt remains about the legal propriety of Malaysia’s assertions, which arises from Malaysia’s basing its claims to certain islands on ocean law principles associated with prolongation of a continental shelf seaward, rather than the accepted legal means of validating claim to title over territory through permanent occupation.
Brunet has only one claim to he Sprat’s group, that being to a naturally submerged formation known as Louisa Reef. Similar to Malaysia, the legal premise for substantiating Brine’s claim flows from continental shelf provisions in the 1982 LOS Convention. Why is the South China Sea Important? The South China Sea is concerned of many states both claimants and no claimants who want to control over this area based on main reasons. The first reason is about the natural resources and other one is the strategic position of the South China Sea.
The former factor is not as crucial as the latter one, but most of the countries in the region are still care about natural sources like oil field, gas and fisheries. Nevertheless, the Sprat’s Islands seem to hold more oil and gas than the Parcel Islands. Most of the states in the region are in various sovereignty disputes over the Sprat’s Islands, the main current reason for delayed energy exploration and development in the South China Sea. In term of economic development, most of disputants are achieving high rates of growth in GAP as a result they all have large demands on energy as sources for development.
Especially, China who is known as the second largest economy in the world, seem to have an endless need of oil ND gas in order to develop economic factor in her own country; therefore, the South China Sea may give a large economic advantage for China. Besides the natural oil and gas, this area also one Of the main shipping lane because it is one-third of the world’s shipping transits the sea on the route between Europe and the Middle East to East Asia. In addition, it is also a home to a fishing ground yielding up 7. Tons of fish per square kilometer that supplies the livelihood of thousands of people. Its fisheries are based upon large numbers of short-lived species and this numerous species make a large scale n fishing industry. These precious natural resources are the great value of China and other disputants ‘economic development and people’s living. On the other hand, the position of the sea also makes it very temping. Being the second busiest sea lane in the world, the South China Sea is an important connection between the East and West.
Most of the oil imported by China, Japan, and Korea is transported through this sea from Africa and the Middle East. The approaches to the CSS, especially the Malice-Singapore, Sauna- Karma, Balzac, Indoor, Abash and Taiwan Straits are located in the non- unionism countries. The Strait of Malice is a gateway for commercial trading lines that plays a crucial role in economic development for all countries in the region and also the countries with which they have economic ties. These ties put pressure on countries to maintain conflict-free sea lanes, a vital factor for trading activities.
In the past, the Soviet Union placed great importance to the right of “transit passage” through the Malice and Singapore Straits as well as through the surrounding waters in the South China Sea area, primarily because these passages were important for the immunization between western and eastern Russia through the warm waters of the South Seas. The Russian Federation may revive this interest in the future once it is in a position to do so. From military perspective, whoever occupies the island in the South China Sea would directly or indirectly take control of most seaways.
The Philippines plans to provide the US with greater access to bases for aircraft and warship on a temporary and rotational basis, which would bolster its defense. Although Manila will not provide permanent basing rights to the US, it would allow the US to have a wider presence in the South China Sea. China, as a major power who is directly getting involved in the dispute believe that controlling the South China Sea will help to strengthen its military power which will achieve it primary goal of breaking U. S naval supremacy in the area. The U. S. Which is not a disputant of the South China Sea also plays the role in the case. The U. S. Will surely never give up on this region because this is the battle that it cannot lose. U. S perspective is that it is not only the battle for claim the natural resources in the South China Sea but also the Competition between the context spread of Communist and democratic ideology. Taking control of the South China Sea seems to be a far-fetched goal for the U. S, but maintaining its presence and its influence over countries in the region is definitely what Washington is trying to pursue.
Besides the two biggest powers, the matter also attracts attention from other major powers such as Japan, Russia, Australia and India. Japan, who is in partial coordination with the US, has been increasing its activities in the region, both with it coast guard and navy. Tokyo, the capital city of Japan, knows that the South China Sea is pivotal for Japanese energy security, as almost all of its oil and gas deliveries are currently routed through the region. Moreover, India is also becoming more active in the region.
The Indian state oil company, ONCE, has invested into three blocks off the coast of Vietnam, which are partly located in areas claimed by Beijing. The Indian military has made it clear that it would venture into the South China Sea if China threatened Noon’s assets. Last but not least, Russia has also partnered with Vietnam in offshore exploration and production and the Russian state gas company is also exploring four blocks south of Hanna Island, which lie inside he area claimed by China.
As a consequence, the involvement of Russian seems mostly for deepen defense ties with Vietnam, but also be motivated by the desire to gain an additional balance compared with China. Both economic and security concerns make the South China Sea a part of each of these countries’ agenda. This does not take the form of an official stance but their attempt to act behind the scenes is recognizable. As the Tension has been escalating due to the uncompromising attitude of all parties, SEAN as the only regional organization has an important role in finding strategies to deal with this conflict.
Conflict Resolution There are several strategies to seek the resolution for the South China Sea which taken by SEAN. They involve among others conflict avoidance, negotiation, mediation, cooperation with Noose and international organizations and peace building. These strategies are interrelated one and another and often cannot be separated. In order to manage the dispute China and Vietnam initiate a system of talk and discussion. Talks at the expert-level on the disputes in the South China Sea proper, the so-called “sea issues”, were initiated in November 1995 and the eleventh round of talks was held in July 2006.
In response to the heightened tension the Prime Ministers of the two countries China and Vietnam, held talks in Hanoi on 28 October 201 0 and decided to seek for solution for the issue relating to the South China Sea. Beside Vietnam, China also use bilateral framework with the Philippines. China and the Philippines held talks leading to an eight-point code of conduct in the Joint Statement of the Republic of Philippines and the People’s Republic of China Consultations on the South China Sea and on other Areas of Cooperation of August 1995. This functions as a model to initiate a more active role of SEAN in the South
China Sea issue. SEAN Role As the regional organization, SEAN plays such an important role in order to solve this conflict through multilateral cooperative mechanism which is the use of SEAN policy. The SEAN Way is widely accepted by its members as the mechanisms for solving their conflicts. The most positive result achieved by SEAN was the reaching of a common code of conduct between the claimants. China and the SEAN members jointly published the Declaration of the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) in 2002 for peaceful settlement of the issue.
The DOC has two aspects: one is the confirmation of useful resolution of territorial disputes and self-restraint of hostile attitude. Another aspect is the enhancement of confidence building measure through mutual exchange of military personnel and cooperation in environmental research. The Philippines and Vietnam insist on incorporating dispute settlement procedure based on UNCLOGS into code of conduct. However, China insists on confidence building measure. In term of China perspective, territorial dispute should be settled directly and bilaterally by the countries concerned because China believe that the bilateral negotiation between
China with each disputants may cause much more easier than SEAN as a whole community in order to persuade each disputant to use the second aspect of the declaration of code of conduct so the china will get benefit from this mutual exchange of environmental research. Confidence building measures also make negotiators feel good about them and often, more concerned about what others think of them as well. Hence, CBS can contribute to raising sensitivities about other negotiators’ national interests, and constraints on their negotiating positions affecting particular issues.
Similarly, all negotiators must obtain an agreement that satisfies their national interests, but at the same time, they also must preserve a relationship of mutual trust with the other side. Otherwise, the negotiated solution is worthless. Another Strategy of SEAN in conflict resolution was led by Indonesia brought the entire disputants into workshops conducted under the sponsorship of Canada. These workshops are where gathered and talk about the issue, develop mutual understanding and reduce the tension arising of all pa rites from sovereignty and jurisdictional disputes over the Sprat’s and Parcel Islands.
The idea of this workshop is to bring persons from different states who may be parties to an international dispute will meet informally and discuss aspects and issues of the matter, in order to create an atmosphere of open free discussion, without the restrictions imposed by having to maintain official government positions. However, it was difficult to brought China to the table, primarily because China considered that the South China Sea issue should not be internationalization. In the view of China, the South China Sea islands Were indisputable sovereignty; in Consequence, he republic of China will refuse to discuss any legal resolution.
Non-claimant Role The SEAN-China agreement fails to address the drivers of potential conflict in the South China Sea. The SEAN members who have the most at stake in the South China Sea principally Vietnam, the Philippines, and Malaysia–are increasingly realizing that their regional organization has little ability to stand up to China. SEAN has never been a tightly unified organization, and its weakness has become clearer in recent years as China’s power has increased and the Southeast Asian nations have proven no more effective at achieving eel unity.
SEAN member who not involve in the dispute such as Cambodia and Thailand have built close relation with China that Vietnam and the Philippines wonder whether in a more serious dispute, the Thai and Cambodia government would support China. As a result, Vietnam and the Philippines are increasingly looking for hand from other outsider power especially the US. The US will have to play a larger role in the dispute as Southeast Asian nations look outside SEAN for support. Diplomacy measure is not likely to be a sufficient mean of reducing the tension in the South China
Sea conflict; therefore, the IIS need to consider what else it can do to preserve the peace and promote further regional prosperity. The United States must take concrete steps to raise the capacity of allies and partners to defend against coercion and aggression, enhance the credibility of international maritime law, strengthen the SEAN power to generate consensus on common interests, and organize confidence-building measures between allies, partners, and China alike, so as to reduce the likelihood of accidents or miscalculations spiraling into needless conflict. The Challenges of the conflict
After reveal the strategies that used to solve the dispute got failure, the researcher will explore the reason why those strategies is unsuccessful and the case still delay to the next SEAN submit. Bilaterally mechanism is not the useful strategy for this conflict because the SEAN members which directly involve in this dispute may reject the bilateral negotiation. For example, Talk between China and Vietnam has been initiated but the parties have not agree on which disputes to include on the agenda, with Vietnam pushing for the inclusion of the Parcels as an issue alongside that of the
Sprats, whereas China only wants to discuss the latter issue. To further complicate matters, China seems to view the disputes over water and continental shelf areas as part of the Sprat’s conflict whereas Vietnam seems to view them as separated from that conflict. The negotiation between China with each disputant not SEAN as a group may gain the benefit for China to persuade the other littoral states, but for small countries most of which are SEAN members, SEAN is the representative protecting their interests. This is the common battle against the domination by big powers in which weaker states stand behind some kind of shield.
Vietnamese strategy towards China is to involve third parties in order to balance China’s power. SEAN role has quite successful for some time to reduce the tension of the South China Sea dispute. Jean’s best achievement so far is making all disputants agree to the DOC which aims to prevent a war in future. All sides have guaranteed to use dialogue as the way to settle conflict. SEAN is also working to balance different powers by establishing connections with not only one major power. This balancing ability of SEAN secured small countries from domination of China -? the giant directly involved the dispute.