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Counteracting Chinese Hegemony in the South China Sea

Counteracting Chinese Hegemony in the South China Sea

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Categories:Types, Research
Published by: The American Security Project on Aug 06, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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www.AmericanSecurityProject.org1100 New York Avenue, NW Suite 710W Washington, DC
Counteracting ChineseHegemony in the SouthChina Sea 
Matthew Baker August 2012Key Facts
Te South China Sea potentially holds vast Natural Gas reserves:
Te EIA esti-mates that total gas resources in the South China Sea are almost 900 trillion cubiceet.
China’s demand or Natural Gas is growing rapidly:
China demanded 131.7bcmo natural gas in 2011, up rom 24.5bcm in 2000. In 2020 this gure is expected togrow to 375bcm.
China cannot produce enough Natural Gas to meet its demand:
In 2011 China consumed 131.7bcm o natural gas, while it only produced 100.9bcm.
China sees untapped reserves in the South China Sea as a way to meet demandand oset increasing imports:
Te Chinese Government believes the reserves in theSouth China Sea hold one-third o China’s total oil and gas reserves.
Te Chinese Government has asserted rights to vast stretches o the South China Sea that are contested by regional states:
Increased Chinese diplomatic, economic,and military activity in the South China Sea – an area with territorial disputes be-tween more than hal a dozen countries – presents a potential threat to the sovereignterritory o States in the region, including American allies such as the Philippinesand Indonesia.
Te Chinese Government contests the legal rights o competing states to areaso the South China Sea:
On July 25 Hong Lei, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokes-person, announced that “the UN Convention on the Law o the Sea (UNCLOS) isnot the legal basis to determine the territorial sovereignty o the Huangyan Island”in dispute between China and the Philippines.
 Matthew Baker is a Adjunct Junior Fellow at the American Security Projec
 AmericAn security project
Current erritorial Disputes in the South China Sea 
Te entire Spratly Islands – an archipelago o more than 100 islets and rees integral to controlling theSouth China Sea – which are claimed by China, aiwan, and Vietnam
Conict between Malaysia and China, Brunei and China, and the Philippines and China over territo-rial waters
 An overlap between Chinas claims and Indonesias Natuna Islands (although the Chinese have assuredthe Indonesian government that China does not claim the islands or its Exclusive Economic Zone)
Various other conicting claims rom Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei, and Vietnam
Energy use o states contesting territory in the South China Sea is increasing, particularly China (Source: Te World Bank).
Disputed claims in the South China Sea (Source:CIA Maps and Publications or the Public)
Te Chinese Government’s proposed “nine-dotted line” sketches out Chinese claims to the South China Sea.China asserts sovereignty over this area based upon the EEZ and continental shel principle. It has also usedhistoric records o the Han and Ming dynasties to bolster its claims.
Te Chinese Government is looking to solidiy its claims in the South China Sea, most recently evident in thecreation o Sansha Municipal People’s Congress on Yongxing Island.
 Americas role in the South China Sea 
Te U.S. has played a prominent role in the Asia-Pacic region or over a century. America can continue toplay a signicant part in maintaining regional stability by acting as a counterweight to increased Chinesehegemony in the South China Sea.
Te U.S. has signifcant economic interests in diplomatic solutions to territorial disputes in the SouthChina Sea.
Te U.S. currently acts as a strategic guarantor to smaller states in Southeast Asia and a counterweight toChinese hegemony in the region.In June, Deense Secretary Leon Panetta’s announced a ‘pivot’ in U.S. Naval policy rom a “50/50 split

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