Spratly Island

5433 Words Jul 12th, 2012 22 Pages
1. Intoduction Spratly Islands is made up of over a 100 islands, shoals and reefs. The land area is less than 5 square kilometers right at the center of West Philippine Sea. So why do regional players such China, Taiwan, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and the Philippines squabbling over it? And what is the interest of the United States of America in the issue? The simple answer is the potential for oil and natural gasoline in the area. The more complex geopolitical answer is power projection. The purpose of this paper is to know some of the hint of the argument concerning authority over the Spratly Islands that is often ignored by commentators as they continue the most often debated topic in South China Sea studies, which is, of …show more content…
oil companies that covered overlapping areas in the Spratlys. In May 1992, the China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) and Crestone Energy (a U.S. company based in Denver, Colorado) signed a cooperation contract for the joint exploration of the Wan'an Bei-21 block, a 25,155 km² section of the southwestern South China Sea that includes Spratly Island areas. Part of the Crestone's contract covered Vietnam's blocks 133 and 134, where PetroVietnam, PetroStar Energy(USA) and ConocoPhillips Vietnam Exploration & Production, a unit of ConocoPhillips, agreed to evaluate prospects in April 1992. This led to a confrontation between China and Vietnam, with each demanding that the other cancel its contract.

Commercial fishing
An additional motive is the region's role as one of the world's most productive areas for commercial fishing. In 1988, for example, the South China Sea accounted for eight percent of the total world catch, a figure which has certainly risen. The PRC has predicted that the South China Sea holds combined fishing and oil and gas resources worth one trillion dollars. There have already been numerous clashes between the PRC, the Philippines and other nations over "foreign" fishing vessels in its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and the media regularly report the arrest of Chinese fishermen. In 1984, Brunei established an exclusive fishing zone encompassing Louisa Reef in the southeastern Spratly Islands.

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