The South China Sea Dispute

In this article, I will explain about the Dispute of the South China sea. Recently in the news there was an argument about South China sea. This sea is a disputed area where some nations claimed that this sea belongs to them, namely China, Taiwan, Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei and Vietnam. This sea is rich in oil and gas fields. Let's discuss more on this topic.

The South China sea is a busy international sea. It is the main part of the global economy mostly for the Asian countries. Most of the world trade are going through this sea while China is progressing on building an airstrip in the area. In order to capture the work done by China the images were taken from satellites and published by IHS JANE'S DEFENCE.

What is the dispute about ?

Approximately 3.5 million square km are of the south china sea has been under dispute as china and all the other rival countries have claimed sovereignty over this territory. This sea is the major shipping route and fishing that sets the livelihood of the people across the region. They all claim that the sea belongs to them.

The spratly island and the owner

The Spratly Island is owned by Philippines. It is a 200 km economic zone of Philippines. whereas china is much more far than Philippines with approximately 580 nautical miles and Philippines is approximately 90 nautical miles. Thus Philippines claims to be the owner of the island.

The 9 dash line

The 9 dash line is the separation line made by china in order to claim the major part of the sea. The other countries did not recognize the line. China claims that the water in the area is within the nine dash line.

History of the dispute

  • In the Year 1947
  • - China claims with most of the areas with U shaped line made of eleven dashes.
  • In the Year 1994
  • - The Philippines has taken china to arbitration. There was an agreement taken for territorial waters and economic zones. The Philippines joined the convention in 1984 and china in 1996.
  • In the Year 1995
  • - China has constructed huts and said it will be shelter for fishermen, so the Philippines made a protest through Association of Southeast Asian Nations(ASEAN)
  • In the Year 2009
  • - China submits its 9-dash line map to the United Nations. It came in response to applications by Vietnam and Malaysia for the extended shelves, because of that all the other nations protested against china.
  • In the Year 2011
  • - Philippines files a protest because they were searching for oil and gas in the Spratly island and the Chinese patrols asked the Filipinos to move away from the place.
  • In the Year 2013
  • - Philippines brings its dispute with China to the permanent court of arbitration in the Hague. After that a separate panel was formed to hear the case.
  • In the Year 2014
  • - The Philippine government writs China's top envoy in Manila to protest and drive away Filipino fishermen.

    Steps taken for the dispute

    The international court strikes down China's claim over south china sea. The court found that china had violated the Philippine's rights in its economic zone, and china constructed artificial islands. So finally the international court rejected china's claim to the south china sea had no legal basis.

    India's stand

    For India the South China sea is one of the important trade route with the south asian nations. Vietnam has offered India seven oil blocks and India has signed energy deals with Brunei. So this sea is also important for India for its commercial interest.


    China the fastest growing economy behind USA has to friendly with neighbour countries. It has to solve the dispute with other nations only with negotiations.


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