ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

South China Sea: The Next Possible Flashpoint of Conflict

Updated on September 21, 2020
profile image

Faraz is the registered seller at Fiverr. He has done MA English. Currently, he is working as a freelancer at various online platforms.


The South China Sea, the collection of these words, does not require an extraordinary thinking power to understand the status of explicit indicators of a potential major threat. The South China Sea is part of the Western Pacific Ocean. It provides coast to different countries; for instance, the People Republic of China, Vietnam, the Philippine, Burnie, Taiwan, and Malaysia. All these countries are the claimants of the oceans on the South China Sea, which they own. These claims are behind the reason for conflict.

These are some significant motives behind these claims; for example, the South China Sea has vast untapped energy and sizeable sea-food stock resources. Moreover, it is one of the formidable routes of trade and energy transportation. Approximately 5.3 trillion of trade carries out through the South China Sea every year. Similarly, according to the US Energy Information Administration, for around 30 percent of Crude oil trade, the South China Sea remained a vital passage in 2016. All the global powers have an interest in retaining authority on the present sea.

People Republic of China's claims over the South China Sea

China strengthens its claims on the South China Sea by presenting controversial evidence from past times and proofs of 1902-1939. 1952 peace treaty after World War II between Japan and China forwarded as the strongest proof behind these claims.

The South China Sea engulfs 3.6 million square kilometers. China claims the sea's vast area is powered by the law of the sea convention and its Nine-dash line. This nine-dash line is based on approximately 2000 kilometers from the ocean of the Chinese mainland.

In short, China asserts its claim over 90% of the South China Sea. Spratly Island, Parcel Island, and Scarborough reef/ shoal are the important share of China's claim over the current sea.

The Philippine's claims

The Philippine is also one of the strong claimants in the South China Sea. One can easily see that the Philippine went to the permanent court of arbitration in the Hague in 2016. The permanent court of arbitration gave the decision in favor of the Philippines' claim. The People Republic of China rebuffed the jurisdiction of the court.

Scarborough shoal/reef and Spratly Island are the most important part of the Philippines' claims over the South China Sea

Malaysia's claims

Malaysia is also among one of the claimants on the properties related to the South China Sea. It asserts its claims over ten atolls in the Spratlys archipelago in the present sea. The incredible about claims is that all of it is located in the EEZ.

China opposes these claims on the basis of its so-called nine-dash line, which approximately covers 2000 kilometers from the Chinese mainland. Moreover, Malaysia claims overlap with different regional countries.

Vietnam's claims

It is the legitimate right of each country to take benefit from 200 nautical miles in the sea, which is called its EEZ. Vietnam is in dispute with China near 50 years. First, it nullifies china's so-called nine-dash line, which allows it to assert its power over 80 percent of the sea. Claims over the Paracel Islands and the seafood stock become the main reason for generating heat in their relation. Untapped oil and gas unexploited resources under the Vietnamese's continental shelf are also the primary reasons for claims.

Taiwan's claims

Taiwan claims a vast area of the South China Sea; for instance, it asserts sovereignty approximately all island groups. It took control of Taiping Island and Paratas ( Donghsha).

Taiwan is one of the countries which completely rejects China's sovereignty over the South China Sea by the nine-dash line. The claims of Taiwan overlap with the claims of China, Vietnam, and the Philippine.

Brunei's claims

Brunei is the country that remained silent for a long-time over the issues of the South China Sea. But, on 20 July of the current year, it has broken long-silence over the contemporary issue. Rifleman bank, Owen shoal, and Louisa reef are included in its maritime features. The critical point is that it is included in its EEZ. But, the tiny Sultanate Brunei has only claimed Louisa reef, the part of its continental shelf.

It is pertinent to disclose here that Brunei does not control any one of these by physical existence.

Claims as the threat of war

The People Republic of China is the country in the present region with extensive ability to exercise its power to fortify its claims. All the other countries are not powerful enough. China controls physical lists of maritime features in the South China Sea, such as most of the Parcel Islands, the Spratlys, the Scarborough shoal.

Other countries like the Philippine, Vietnam, and Malaysia also claim these maritime features. The worst big problem for these countries is that China has started to militarize these Islands. It is purposefully busy to weak their claims by threatening them with massive military engagement. Some countries like the Philippine went to sue china in the permanent court of arbitration in The Hague. China refused the jurisdiction of the court and did not follow it. It shows the authoritarian approach of China to support its claims.

Other regional countries are trying to balance the power by establishing ties with global powers such as Taiwan's growing relationship with the US. Moreover, the US has trade interests with these countries by the South China Sea. This ongoing complex situation is going to be turned out into serious conflict.

The US interests in the South China Sea

The US also has a deep interest in the South China Sea. It carries out a large part of a trade from the present sea, which is crucial to the American economy. The hegemony of China on the South China Sea means removing trade advantage for the US. The US and China are the great rival of each other in every field. Both have a strong military presence, particularly of formidable naval forces. The issue is critical to the US advantage; that is why it is personal to the US.

To ensure internationally recognized rights, the US continued freedom of navigation operation in the South China Sea. It is trying to involve other countries in doing so, such as Australia.

China is continuously refusing the global law approach regarding the Territorial Oceans; the obvious example of this fact is the refusal of the jurisdiction of the permanent court of arbitration in The Hague. The US seems committed to ensuring the safety of its interests.

Preventing global justice institutions from exercising its influence and implementing forceful policy to safeguard the interests are taking the South China Sea turning into a potential highly­-armed conflict zone. All the major parties of the conflict seem busy in preparation of armed-conflict. The pathetic point is that no one is thinking upon the way of discourse and negotiation.


All the regional powers should keep in mind that the fighting war is not among any solution to the problem. We should realize the damage posed to humanity when we go to choose war as the ultimate solution. The only best way to solve the South China Sea issue is to involve international law bodies into matters and accept their decision in this critical matter. Each state should respect the rights of other states as well. The approach of discourse and holding is an excellent solution than any other approach. At the same time, the other way goes to the destruction of humanity.

It is up to us which way we choose.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)