Student at O.P. Jindal Global University, India
This article explores the current geo-political scenario which is creating a storm in the South China Sea. It explicitly discusses China’s foreign policy with respect to the South China Sea. The region has received global attention because of the fact that more than US $ 3 trillion in trade passes through it. China adamantly desires complete control of the region. The sea route is akin to China’s lifeline because 80% of its energy imports are routed through the region. It emphasises historical claims to the region. However, as a matter of fact, they date back to 1947 only. The government of Chiang Kai-shek drew the "eleven-dash line" on Chinese maps depicting the South China Sea. In 1953, the People’s Republic of China modified Chiang's conception into a "nine-dash line" by erasing two dashes in the Gulf of Tonkin. China’s claims are in contravention of international law, which does not recognise claims based on historical rights. It uses a strategy that it deems a cabbage strategy to capture islands present in the region. It surrounds the islands with as many ships as possible to cordon off access to it. Moreover, satellite images show Chinese ships pumping sand and rocks to construct artificial islands. It is converting underwater reefs into military bases by making artificial islands. Such activities have led to a tussle in the area between major superpowers like USA and China. An all-out war between these nuclear heavyweights seems improbable at this moment. However, any flare-up in the region can escalate the conflict. Regional countries have a crucial role to play in such skirmishes. They tend to make their maritime claims vague, thereby maximising their maritime territory, which makes an amicable resolution of the dispute extremely strenuous.
International Journal of Law Management and Humanities, Volume 6, Issue 1, Page 1007 - 1012DOI: https://doij.org/10.10000/IJLMH.114144
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