Spratly Islands

Report
Done by:
Ang Ray Yan (4S102)
Dominic Cheong (4S108)
Johnny Yeung (4S134)
Contents
•
•
•
•
Fact file
Early conflict
Contesting countries
Key events in the fight for sovereignty
Fact file
• Made up of 750 reefs
• South China Sea
• Between Philippines,
China, Malaysia,
Vietnam, Brunei
• <5km2
• Rich in oil, gas, seafood
and coral reef resources
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
Contesting countries
China
Chinese
fishermen and
merchants
occupying island
Naval
expeditions in
Han Dynasty
Archaeological
evidences
To prove that China has
sovereignty over Spratly
Islands since history
Primary motive
China
Transition
from
bicycles to
mass
transit
Increasing oil
consumption
and demand
(7.5%/yr, 7 x
higher than US)
Inadequate
oil refinery
and
extraction
capabilities
Harness
hydrocarbon
resources on
Spratly
Island to
generate oil
China
Source: http://www.worldwatch.org/brain/images/press/news/vs05china_oil.jpg
China
Secondary motive
• Increase its territory by drawing territorial
lines to Spratly Islands
• Observed in China producing such a map in
1958.
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
Philippines
• Motive for ownership:
– Integral step in improving security in Philippines
– Increase its oil production more revenue
Philippines
• Motive for ownership:
– Integral step in improving security in Philippines
– Increase its oil production more revenue
Brunei
• Claims Louisa Reef
Motive:
Fisheries
Sustained
economic
growth for
Brunei
Strategic
location
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.
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
Vietnam
• As early as the 17th 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
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
Taiwan
Fishing rights
Shipping lanes
Motives
Potential of natural gas
beneath the seabed
Expanding international
borders
• Built an airstrip on Itu Aba Island
• In 2008, Taiwan's president Chen Shuibian personally visited the island
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”
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
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
Key events
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•
•
•
Sino-Vietnam conflict
1992 Declaration of the South China Sea
China’s defiance
2002 Declaration of conduct of parties of the
South China Sea
Sino-Vietnam conflict
Background
China
Vietnam
Historical claims over island, thus islands
should be theirs
Meet growing oil
demand
Produce own oil,
cease oil importation
Increase territory
Secure sea route
1988
1974
1950s
Sino-Vietnam conflict
1958
1968
1973
1974
• China produced a map demarcating Paracel and Spratly Islands as
their territory
• Oil was discovered on Spratly Islands
• 4th biggest oil field
• More countries interested to harness such resource. Vietnam stationed
troops
• South Vietnam boldly acquired 5 islands and garrisoned troops
there
• China ignored such claims
• Chinese forces attacked Vietnamese forces
• Excuse: Chinese fishermen there were harassed.
Sino-Vietnam conflict
1974
• Vietnam retreated to Spratly Islands
• China shifted focus to Spratly Islands
• Vietnamese lost backing even from USSR
1980s
• China erected structures to accommodate soldiers on Spratly Island
1988
• War between China and Vietnam over Johnson Reef. China gained 6 more
islands to total of 9.
Mar 1988 • Diplomatic relations were broken
ASEAN declaration of the South China Sea
An initial step in promoting
peace while claiming
sovereignty
Self restraint
1992 declaration
Maintaining present status
quo
Prevent unnecessary actions
to complicate matters
China also signed this declaration
China’s defiance
• Despite signing the declaration…
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
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
Joint exploration on Spratly
Island
Confidence building
measures, such as voluntary
exchange of views
Cooperative activities, such
as:
1. Marine protection
2. Combat transnational
crime
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
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
Peaceful resolution
• 2005: National oil companies of China,
Vietnam and Philippines signed joint accord
– Promote joint seismic experiments on Spratly
Islands for economic purposes
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
References
• http://www.nytimes.com/1995/04/05/world/rival-claimsto-island-chain-bring-edginess-to-asia-s-rim.html
• http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spratly_islands
• http://thepinoy.net/?p=1184
• http://www.monitor.upeace.org/innerpg.cfm?id_article=62
3
• http://web.mit.edu/cascon/cases/case_spi.html
• http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/war/spratlydiplomacy.htm
• http://www1.american.edu/TED/SPRATLY.htm
• http://www1.american.edu/ted/ice/spratly.htm
Thank you

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