South China Sea 

The Battle for Territory and Resources

South China Sea

Geography

The South China Sea (SCS) is surrounded to the North by China and Taiwan, to the West by Vietnam, to the East by the Philippines, and to the South by Malaysia, Brunei, and Indonesia. 

Global Importance

The SCS has become one of the world’s most contentious maritime regions due to its abundant resource reserves and global importance as a major shipping lane. The US Energy Information Agency estimates that the SCS contains about 190 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and 11 billion barrels of oil in proven and probable reserves. While over 30 percent of maritime crude oil shipments and more than $30 trillion in trade pass through its waters annually.  

Setting for future conflict

The multiple and often conflicting claims of sovereignty throughout the SCS present significant security challenges that have already led to a number of small scale skirmishes and diplomatic wrangling between states. At the heart of this is the Chinese 9 dash line claim and the associated program of territorial expansion in the form of Island building.  In these pages the Dryad Global team analyse the ongoing situations and potential commercial impact within the region. 

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