Friday, October 5, 2012

Disputes in South and East China Seas due to Access to Strategic Mineral


Executive Summary:
The increasing number of territorial disputes in the South and East China Seas are due to control of potential mineral reserves. It is highly likely that the Chinese government will continue to bring attention to disputed regions like the Senkaku Islands, the Parcel Islands and the Spratly Islands in the next 12-24 months. These islands likely contain valuable strategic mineral resources as well as offshore oil deposits.

Discussion:
In mid-September political tensions came to a crescendo as China protested Japan’s continued occupation of the Senakaku Islands, 100 miles north of Taiwan. The islands are believed to contain valuable strategic mineral deposits. The uproar is one event in a series of ongoing disputes involving the PRC. In July, the People’s Liberation Army announced it would be sending a garrison of soldiers to the Parcel Islands, a small island chain claimed by Vietnam.

Map showing disputed territory in the South China SeaThe Philippines announced on Monday that 800 Marines would be sent to the Spratly Islands to further guard territorial claims there. The Spratly Islands are situated near by producing oil and natural gas fields in the South China Sea.

In response to the unrest with, Beijing offered 3 billion RMB to the ASEAN for a maritime cooperation fund. The fund is specifically aimed at cooling tensions with the Philippines and Vietnam. However, to date, the purpose of the fund has not been established, but this illustrates Beijing’s desire to resolve the conflict diplomatically.

Analytical Confidence:
Analytic confidence for this assessment is high.  The analyst did not utilize structured methods of analysis for this report.  Source reliability is high and the sources corroborated each other.  The analysts’ expertise is moderate and the analysts worked alone.  Subject complexity was medium and the time available for the task was abundant.

Methods And Processes:
The analyst worked alone on this document and did not need to use collaborative software or technology. The analyst used Google News searches to identify reliable sources and gather corroborative information.

Contact Information:
For comments, questions, or additional information, please contact the analyst:

Kgusta65@lakers.mercyhurst.edu

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