lørdag 15. desember 2018

The Geopolitics of Oil and Gas in the South China Sea

Beijing considers the South China Sea as vital to its energy security interests, both from an upstream perspective but more importantly as a transit route for oil and gas shipments from the Middle East and Africa. The strategic significance of these waters helps explain why Beijing has been militarizing disputed maritime features in the South China Sea.

The success of Beijing’s “salami-slicing” approach is evident from the claim made by Admiral Philip S. Davidson – head of the U.S. Navy’s Indo-Pacific Command – that China is now capable of controlling the South China Sea in all scenarios short of war.

This stark admission is a significant blow to U.S. leadership in the region and Washington has yet to articulate a coherent South China Sea strategy that suggests it can reverse China’s recent strategic gains.