China conducts military exercise in the disputed South China Sea

Published: July 3, 2020

China is holding military exercise around Parcel Islands in South China Sea between July 1, 2020 and July 5, 2020. US has raised its concerns over the exercise in a disputed territory.

What is the issue?

The dispute of South China Sea involves both maritime and island claims among the sovereign states in the region such as China, Brunei, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines and Vietnam. Around 3.37 trillion USD of trade passes through South China sea. This is 80% of China’s energy imports. The sea bed is also rich in oil and natural gas.

The disputes mainly include Spratly Islands, Parcel Islands, Gulf of Tonkin and Scarborough Shoal. China is now conducting its military exercise in one of the highly disputed regions of South China Sea, which is Parcel Islands. Parcel Islands was under Vietnamese rule till the Battle of Parcel Islands, 1974.

39.5% of China’s imports and 80% of China’s energy imports passes through South China Sea.

US Concerns

US claims that China is violating Declaration of Conduct of Parties that was signed in 2002 between China and ASEAN. Under the agreement, the parties reaffirmed their commitment towards UN Convention on Law of Seas, 1982 (UNCLOS).

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