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Done by: Ang Ray Yan (4S102) Dominic Cheong (4S108) Johnny Yeung (4S134)

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Presentation on theme: "Done by: Ang Ray Yan (4S102) Dominic Cheong (4S108) Johnny Yeung (4S134)"— Presentation transcript:

1 Done by: Ang Ray Yan (4S102) Dominic Cheong (4S108) Johnny Yeung (4S134)

2 Contents Fact file Early conflict Contesting countries Key events in the fight for sovereignty

3 Fact file Made up of 750 reefs South China Sea Between Philippines, China, Malaysia, Vietnam, Brunei <5km 2 Rich in oil, gas, seafood and coral reef resources

4 Early conflict 1933: France asserted its ownership established in 1887 on behalf of then-colony Vietnam Occupied Itu Aba, built 2 weather stations, administered its affairs Republic of China protested: France found Chinese fishermen upon discovery of the island Japan used islands in 1939 as submarine base for SE Asia invasion during WWII Japan lost, ROC claimed all islands. Japan renounced claims in San Francisco Treaty in 1951

5 Contesting countries

6 China To prove that China has sovereignty over Spratly Islands since history Archaeological evidences Chinese fishermen and merchants occupying island Naval expeditions in Han Dynasty

7 China Transition from bicycles to mass transit Inadequate oil refinery and extraction capabilities Increasing oil consumption and demand (7.5%/yr, 7 x higher than US) Harness hydrocarbon resources on Spratly Island to generate oil Primary motive

8 China Source: china_oil.jpg

9 China Secondary motive Increase its territory by drawing territorial lines to Spratly Islands Observed in China producing such a map in 1958.

10 Philippines Owns 60 islands and 7 wells Nearest proximity to Spratly Islands Reason for ownership: – At 1956, Tomas Cloma and crew ‘discovered’ Spratly Islands – Unoccupied, abandoned – Fought for ownership based on res nullis principle: Res nullis: Any island uninhabited/abandoned belongs to the discoverer Renamed islands as Freedomland

11 Philippines Motive for ownership: – Integral step in improving security in Philippines – Increase its oil production  more revenue

12 Philippines Motive for ownership: – Integral step in improving security in Philippines – Increase its oil production  more revenue

13 Brunei Claims Louisa Reef Motive: Fisheries Strategic location Sustained economic growth for Brunei

14 Brunei Focus not on oil and gas, already main producer Southern part of Spratly Islands: Exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of Brunei Established by UNCLOS (law of the seas) by UN In 1984, Brunei declared an EEZ that includes Louisa Reef.

15 Vietnam Motives Economic motives Recent economic liberalization in 1986  future economic growth at stake Presently oil imported country. Needs to produce own oil to propel economy Geographical motives Dependent on sea route on South China Sea Secure sea route

16 Vietnam As early as the 17 th century, Vietnamese maps record Spratly Islands as her territory Vietnam had conducted many geographical and resource surveys of the islands China did not declare sovereignty over the Spratlys until after World War II

17 Taiwan Taiwan currently occupies Itu Aba island (Taiping Island) Claims sovereignty over all Spratly Islands Taiwan’s claims are similar to that of PRC’s After WWII, Japan renounced control of Spratlys to China, but after separation in 1949, Taiwan retained control of military there

18 Taiwan Built an airstrip on Itu Aba Island In 2008, Taiwan's president Chen Shui- bian personally visited the island Fishing rightsShipping lanes Potential of natural gas beneath the seabed Expanding international borders Motives

19 Malaysia Started its claim in 1979 Malaysia occupied three islands that it considers to be within its continental shelf. The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea states: “A coastal nation has control of all resources on or under its continental shelf, living or not”

20 Malaysia Motives Exploitation of natural resources Economic reasons Owns a hotel in one of the islands Swallow Reef (Layang Layang) was turned into an island through land reclamation and hosts a dive resort

21 Uninvolved countries Eg. Singapore Concerned about peace and security around South China Sea region Held internal forums to discuss this matter Demanded more participation in ASEAN discussions

22 Key events Sino-Vietnam conflict 1992 Declaration of the South China Sea China’s defiance 2002 Declaration of conduct of parties of the South China Sea

23 Sino-Vietnam conflict Background 1950s ChinaVietnam Historical claims over island, thus islands should be theirs Meet growing oil demand Produce own oil, cease oil importation Increase territorySecure sea route

24 Sino-Vietnam conflict 1958 China produced a map demarcating Paracel and Spratly Islands as their territory 1968 Oil was discovered on Spratly Islands 4 th biggest oil field More countries interested to harness such resource. Vietnam stationed troops 1973 South Vietnam boldly acquired 5 islands and garrisoned troops there 1974 China ignored such claims Chinese forces attacked Vietnamese forces Excuse: Chinese fishermen there were harassed.

25 Sino-Vietnam conflict 1974 Vietnam retreated to Spratly Islands China shifted focus to Spratly Islands 1980s Vietnamese lost backing even from USSR 1988 China erected structures to accommodate soldiers on Spratly Island Mar 1988 War between China and Vietnam over Johnson Reef. China gained 6 more islands to total of 9. Diplomatic relations were broken

26 ASEAN declaration of the South China Sea An initial step in promoting peace while claiming sovereignty Self restraint Maintaining present status quo Prevent unnecessary actions to complicate matters 1992 declaration China also signed this declaration

27 China’s defiance Despite signing the declaration… China passed “Territorial Sea and Contiguous Zones" Law, laying hands on all of Spratly Islands Enhanced fortifications on the island in 2000

28 Mischief Reef dispute China built initial structures in 1994 during monsoon season, Philippines not patrolling Philippines protested, China claimed it was shelter for fishermen China reinforced on its structures, resembled military structures. Philippines did not dare to bomb its structures for fear of war  same fate as Vietnam, 70+ deaths Decided to destroy initial structures to prevent its evolution into military structures

29 Declaration of the conduct of parties in the South China Sea Signed in 2002 More specific steps to maintain peace while competing for Spratly Islands Refrain from claiming ownership of uninhabited islands Confidence building measures, such as voluntary exchange of views Joint exploration on Spratly Island Cooperative activities, such as: 1. Marine protection 2. Combat transnational crime

30 Declaration of the conduct of parties in the South China Sea Almost resolved the Spratly Islands problem peacefully Not legal binding, fell short of a final step

31 Peaceful resolution During Asian Association of Parliaments for Peace (AAPP) conference in the Philippines, Claimant countries of Spratly Islands signed another declaration to promote joint development of resources on Spratly Islands

32 Peaceful resolution 2005: National oil companies of China, Vietnam and Philippines signed joint accord – Promote joint seismic experiments on Spratly Islands for economic purposes

33 Conclusion Matter seems solved, but no legal binding document China still claims all of Spratly islands as its territory Progression of peace may revert back to square one Continue to collaborate extensively in joint exploration of Spratly Islands

34 References to-island-chain-bring-edginess-to-asia-s-rim.html to-island-chain-bring-edginess-to-asia-s-rim.html diplomacy.htm diplomacy.htm

35 Thank you


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