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Present State of the Dispute on West Philippine Sea

Updated on January 12, 2020
Layco Cupo profile image

"In a world where you can be anyone, be yourself." Communication Researcher | PUPian 2018 | Cat Person

The West Philippine Sea is a marginal sea that is part of the Pacific Ocean, encompassing an area from the Singapore and Malacca Straits to the Strait of Taiwan of around 3,500,000 square kilometres (1,400,000 sq mi). The area's importance largely results from one-third of the world's shipping sailing through its waters and that it is believed to hold huge oil and gas reserves beneath its seabed. West Philippine Sea comprises both island and maritime claims among several sovereign states namely Brunei, the People's Republic of China, the Republic of China (Taiwan), Malaysia, the Philippines, and Vietnam.


The zone may be rich in oil and normal gas stores; notwithstanding, the appraisals are exceedingly shifted. The Ministry of Geological Resources and Mining of the People's Republic of China estimated that the South China Sea may contain 17.7 billion tons of crude oil (compared with Kuwait with 13 billion tons). In the years taking after the declaration by the service, the cases with respect to the South China Sea islands intensified. However, different sources guarantee that the demonstrated store of oil in the South China Sea might just be 7.5 billion barrels, or around 1.1 billion tons. As per the US Energy Information Administration (EIA's) profile of the South China Sea area, a US Geological Survey assessment puts the district's found and unfamiliar oil saves at 28 billion barrels, rather than a Chinese figure of 213 billion barrels. The same EIA report additionally indicates the wide assortment of regular gas asset estimations, running from 900 trillion cubic feet (25.5 trillion cubic meters) to 2 quadrillion cubic feet (56.6 trillion cubic meters), likely situated in the challenged Reed Bank.

China still claimed the Nine-Dash line, however there is existing Rule of Law against the Dispute on West Philippine Sea. Nine-Dash line covers most of the South China sea and overlaps Exclusive Economic Zone claims of Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, Vietnam, and especially the Philippines, with regards to coast of Palawan. The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), also called the Law of the Sea Convention or the Law of the Sea treaty, states that sovereign states must acquire at least 200 nautical miles away from its territory. Unlike China claiming the so-called 9-dash line. Wherein, it has no basis on whatsoever under international law as it purports to define the limits of China’s claim to 'historic rights.

Furthermore, in the field of communication, the theory proposed by Leslie Baxter and W. K. Rawlins will best describe the situation. And the theory is called Relational Dialectics. Relational Dialectics focuses on the contradictions in relationships. The relational dialectics has its roots from the concept of the extreme will sustain the sources of the contrary. This philosophical concept reflects the tensions that exist being in a relationship. The concept as mentioned comes from the contradictions that arises when two people of varying differences maintain a relationship. Like in China and Philippines both claiming the rights of the West Philippine Sea with different perspectives with regards to the rules of the sea. And that contradictions may arise problems with regards to the relationships of both country.

Works Cited

Anonymous. (2010). Communication Theory. Retrieved from

Anonymous. (2013, Sept 26). The Rule of Law in the West Philippine Sea dispute. Manila Bulletin. Retrieved from

Esquamel, Paterno. (2015, May 14). PH, US officials meet on South China Sea row. Retrieved from

Keck, Zachary. (2014). China’s Newest Maritime Dispute. Retrieved from

Mangosing Frances. (2015, July 29). Why the Unclos is important to the West Philippine Sea dispute. Retrieved from

Pike, John. (2015). Natuna's Island. Retrieved from

© 2020 Layco Cupo


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