What Is So Important About The South China Sea


The South China Sea has become a hotbed of global contention in recent years, but in reality the region has a storied history of international conflict, characterized by imperial ambition, economic superpowers, and world wars. The area was first mapped by Europeans during the sixteenth century and was being traded as a route for Chinese and Southeast Asian traders by the seventeenth century. During the nineteenth century, imperialistic interests from European powers began to grow and the area was colonized by France, Spain, and the British Empire.
Up until the early twentieth century when World War II began, the area was largely claimed by the British, French and Spanish, but Japan was beginning to expand its presence in the area and by 1945 the region was mostly under the control of the Japanese and the independent state of Kuomintang, or Chinese Nationalist Party. After the war, many of the imperial powers pulled out of the South China Sea region and since then the area has been a contested maritime space.


The South China Sea region has enormous economic value as it is an important transportation route for oil and natural resources, but also for other commodities such as fish, rubber and other resources. China, who has staked major economic and military claims in the area, is the biggest beneficiary of the economic resources of the South China Sea. It is, therefore, the major superpower in the region and its influence over the region, especially in terms of economic growth and development, is seen as a major source of power.
Furthermore, the South China Sea is crucial for international shipping and trade routes between the East and the West, so there is a great deal of economic value for the countries that have control over the area. They are able to control the shipping lanes and other routes that carry goods and are able to determine the flow of trade. Additionally, the presence of multinational corporations and foreign investment in the area further add to the economic value of the South China Sea.


The South China Sea region is also an important military asset for China and other countries in the region. As mentioned, the area is extremely important for shipping and trade routes, so countries that control the region can heavily influence international trade. That is why there has been increasing militarization in the region, with China expanding its naval forces to the region by building military bases, conducting military exercises and placing restrictions on the movement of foreign ships.
The United States has also increasingly become involved in the region, as an effort to contain China’s expansion and preserve freedom of navigation in the South China Sea. The US has placed economic sanctions on China and conducted regular military exercises in the region in an effort to keep China in check.


The South China Sea region is also an important geopolitical asset for the countries in the region. Countries such as Malaysia, Vietnam and the Philippines have made claims to certain areas of the South China Sea based on their sovereignty, so there is substantial geopolitical tension in the region. In addition, the US has made a major geopolitical statement by placing sanctions on China and conducting military exercises in the area, thus signaling its interest in maintaining a strong presence in the region.
The situation in the region has caused a great deal of tension and there is the potential for further escalation. All countries involved in the situation have expressed their willingness to engage in international cooperation, but no agreement has been reached so far which has left the dispute in limbo.


In order to resolve the dispute in the South China Sea, the countries in the region must agree to abide by international law. The International Court of Justice (ICJ) has been called upon to resolve the situation and its ruling has been accepted by the countries involved in the dispute. The ICJ has made a number of rulings that have been accepted by the countries involved, but there has yet to be a final decision which will settle the issue once and for all.
The UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) is seen as the primary legal instrument governing the region and the UN has made a number of attempts to resolve the dispute through mediation and other efforts. However, the countries involved in the dispute have yet to come to a definitive agreement.

Impact on Other Nations

The South China Sea dispute has also created a ripple effect in other nations that are not directly involved in the dispute. The economic value of the area is considerable and so other countries, such as the US and Japan, have expressed their interest in protecting their economic interests in the region. Furthermore, the dispute has caused tension with other nations, such as India and Australia, who have expressed their support for the countries involved in the dispute.
The South China Sea is also important because it is a key area for military operations in the Asia-Pacific region and it is important for the US and other nations to maintain stability in the area. Overall, the South China Sea dispute has caused tension in the international community and has a great potential to cause further disruption if it is not resolved soon.

Environmental Issues

The South China Sea region is home to some of the world’s most fragile marine ecosystems, and in recent years, the issue of environmental protection has become a major concern for the countries involved in the dispute. The region is home to over 1000 species of fish species, as well as other varieties of plants and animals. Furthermore, the coastal regions of the South China Sea are home to some of the richest biodiversity in the world.
The dispute in the South China Sea has had a significant impact on the environment, as China has engaged in the construction of artificial islands and military bases in the area. This has caused significant disruption to the ocean’s biological systems and has caused destruction of coral reefs and other forms of Marine life. The destruction of these areas has caused further deterioration of the South China Sea’s ecosystems.


The South China Sea is also a popular destination for fishing as well since it is a rich fishing ground with a wide variety of species. It is estimated that the amount of fish caught in the South China Sea amounts up to 20 percent of the world’s total fish catch. The involvement of the nations involved in the dispute has also caused serious problems for fishermen in the region, as the presence of military vessels and restrictions on movement in the area has made fishing increasingly difficult.
Furthermore, overfishing in the area has had a detrimental effect on the populations of fish and other marine life, as the number of fish caught has outstripped the natural capacity of the ocean’s biological systems. This has caused further problems for the fishermen of the region, who are now trying to cope with dwindling fish stocks and an ever increasing demand for fish.


The South China Sea disputes encompass a wide range of issues from economics to geopolitics, and from military to environmental protection. The region is of great importance for the economic, military, and geopolitical interests of the countries involved and the dispute has had a great deal of impact on other nations who are not directly involved. Furthermore, the environmental and fishing issues in the region have caused serious disruption to the area and have had a detrimental effect on the local environments and populations. The situation has yet to be properly resolved and it will take a great deal of international cooperation and understanding to resolve the dispute.

Ferne Chang is an avid sailor with a passion for all things maritime. She has a Master’s degree in Maritime Studies from the University of Liverpool which has enabled her to create a successful career in writing and research about world seas. She currently produces articles for online publications on topics ranging from shipbuilding to maritime law and cruising. Ferne also serves as a consulting editor for various maritime, trade, environment and policy journals. In her spare time, she enjoys sailing and exploring the world’s oceans with her family and friends.

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