The sea or ocean is the largest water body on Earth. In fact, the Earh consists of 2/3 ocean and the rest is land. The difference between sea and ocean is basically its area. The sea tends to be narrower than the ocean, although both have salty water.
Even if we pay attention to the oceans and the sea holding together and converging, there are still boundaries that end it. Some of the oceans on the Earth include the Indian Ocean, the Pacific Ocean, the Arctic Ocean, the Atlantic Ocean, and there is also the South China Sea which has recently been debated as an ocean or sea because of its vastness. Now, on this occasion, we will discuss about it, start from the location to the characteristics and conflicts surrounding the sea.
Location of the South China Sea
The South China Sea is a sea located around the Asian Continent. This is reflected in its name which uses the name of the People’s Republic of China, which is now better known as Chinese. The South China Sea is the edge of the Pacific Ocean that stretches from the Karimata Strait and the Malacca Strait to the Taiwan Strait. The area of the South China Sea is approximately 3,500,000 square kilometers. because of its strategic location, the South China Sea is often crossed by merchant ships across continents or international level which turns this sea into a busy and important route.
Characteristics of the South China Sea
The South China Sea has special characteristics. In fact, each sea has an appearance that is almost the same between one another. But each sea must have characteristics. The characteristics possessed by the South China Sea include the following:
- Strategic location
- An important route for international shipping
- Has a lot of natural wealth that can be used to meet human needs in the vicinity
Now those are some of the characteristics possessed by the South China Sea. Because of its abundant features, the sea reaps quite a lot of disputes or conflicts. This conflict over the southern Chinese sea has been going on for many years between various countries. To find out what conflicts are related to the South China Sea, let’s continue this.
The conflict that occurred in the South China Sea
In the history of the South China Sea, there have been many controversies because there are several conflicts regarding the sea that involve several countries. The conflict itself emerged since 1947. The following are the summary from this case of sea conflict:
- The conflict began in 1947 when China made a map that claimed most of the sea area.
- In 1949, the Communist Party, the most powerful party in China, claimed that the nine dash line area belong to them includes the Spratly Islands in Vietnam and the Philippines namely Scarborough Reef.
- In 1994, the Philippines submitted to the Arbitration Tribunal under the United Nations Law Convention which was ratified by 60 countries.
- In 1995, China became bolder by carrying out development on Mischief Reef and the Philippines filed a protest to ASEAN.
- In 1997, Philippine naval vessels prevented Chinese ships from approaching Scarborough Shoal, which is 1,000 km from China and 230 km from the Philippines.
- In 2009, China submitted a nine dashed lines map to the United Nations which were later opposed by Vietnam and Malaysia and protested by the Philippines and Indonesia.
- In 2013, the Philippines brought the dispute to the Arbitration Court in The Hague.
- In 2016 the Arbitration Court ruled that China had no legal basis to claim the official South China Sea and was considered to exacerbate regional disputes. The Philippines welcomed this decision, but China still refused in full. And until now there has been no agreement or light of peace regarding this dispute
Now that’s some information that we can give about the South China Sea and the issues that surrounded it. The South China Sea is indeed vast water and is also rich in natural wealth so that it can be used to meet the needs of millions of people around it. This endless natural wealth makes the South China Sea so important and valuable. Hopefully what we convey is useful for all of us.