SOUTH CHINA SEA (Syllabus: GS Paper 2 – IR)

News-CRUX-10     6th March 2024        
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Context: Recently, Chinese and Philippine coast guard vessels collided in the disputed South China Sea, injuring four Filipino crew members amid Southeast Asian leaders' assembly for an Asian summit, where concerns over Beijing's sea aggression were anticipated to be addressed.

South China Sea

  • About: It is one of the world's busiest waterways and plays a crucial role in global trade and merchant shipping.
  • Location: The South China Sea is a marginal sea of the Western Pacific Ocean
  • Bordering Countries: The People’s Republic of China, the Republic of China (Taiwan), the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei, Indonesia, Singapore and Vietnam.
  • Straits: Taiwan Strait, connecting to the East China Sea; the Luzon Strait, linking to the Philippine Sea; straits surrounding Palawan, connecting to the Sulu Sea; the Strait of Singapore, providing access to the Strait of Malacca; and the Karimata and Bangka Strait, connecting to the Java Sea.
  • Reason for Dispute: The South China Sea disputes involve claims over maritime territories and islands by various sovereign states in the region.
  • Countries Party dispute: China, Brunei, Taiwan, the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia etc.

Claims Over Islands

  • The Paracel Islands: Claimed by China, Taiwan and Vietnam.
  • The Spratly Islands: Claimed by China, Taiwan, Malaysia, Vietnam, Brunei and the Philippines.
  • The Scarborough Shoal: Claimed by the Philippines, China and Taiwan.
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