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China's strategy for development of resources in S. China Sea

(People's Daily Online)

08:45, September 19, 2012

Recently, the China National Offshore Oil Corporation announced the second batch of 26 oil areas in the South China Sea which allows foreign companies’joint development in 2012. China's pace of exploiting the oil of the South China Sea has obviously accelerated.

These areas are all around the Beibu Gulf and far from Nine-Dotted Line. It indicates that China still holds a relevantly cautious stance in developing the oil resources of total 55 billion tons in the South China Sea.

Different from China, the five countries of Vietnam, Malaysia, the Philippines, Brunei and Indonesia around the South China Sea are maintaining rapid paces in exploiting oil resources of the South China Sea.

In dealing with oil and gas development disputes with countries around the South China Sea, the government of China always sticks to the principle of "China having the sovereignty and the related sides putting aside disputes and developing them jointly." But the current situation shows that these countries have dissimilated this principle.

On the one hand, certain countries bordering the South China Sea have long used force to occupy the Nansha Islands and sent garrisons and built related facilities there. While one island after another has been occupied, China has not taken fierce countermeasures, and thus failed to draw mutually recognized maritime boundaries with these countries. At present, the country itself only recognizes China’s sovereignty over the Nansha Islands.

On the other hand, China once tried to take advantage of the ASEAN Plus One mechanism to settle the territorial disputes in the South China Sea, but the U.S. intervention ruined this strategy.

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