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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 cubiceet.
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 oset 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 Project