12 September 2014
The recent clashes between Vietnam and China over the latter’s deployment of a deep-water drilling rig in disputed waters have refocused the spotlight on energy in the South China Sea. How important is it as a driver in China’s South China Sea policy? To what extent is competition over seabed hydrocarbons compounding tensions between China and Southeast Asian territorial claimants?
In fact, political and strategic motivations almost certainly took precedence over energy considerations in the decision to deploy China National Offshore Oil Corporation’s (CNOOC’s) deep-water platform west of the Paracels, in early May. Nevertheless, the imperative to exploit seabed energy resources has received greater attention within China’s overall South China Sea policy in recent years.
… Euan Graham is a Senior Fellow at the S Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University.
RSIS / Online
Last updated on 12/09/2014