The neutral on the South China Sea does not

The Threat to World Peace and Security
due to the South China Sea dispute has come to a whole new level. After
expanding and building man-made islands in the South China Sea, China also
placed their Military base like in Fiery cross island which threatens the
neighboring countries surrounding the South China Sea” stated UN Official of
Myanmar few months ago. He added “It’s almost a year but the dispute over the
Spartly and Paracel islands remains unsolved, disputed and threatening”.

Currently the South China Sea is under
recognition of UNCLOS (United Nations Convention on the Law of Sea) and ASEAN
(Association of Southeast Asian Nations). These international organizations are
working to solve the threatening South China Sea dispute. The escalating
tensions grown when Philippine police seized a Chinese fishing boat and its
crew fishing on China’s Half Moon Shoal and Vietnam disturbed the routine
drilling of a Chinese oil rig in the South China Sea.

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People’s
Republic of China claimed around 90% of the South China Sea referring to the
Nine-Dash Line, which is an imprecise line that was drawn dating back to the 15th
Century. The Spartly islands are the heart of the sea. Currently these islands
are claimed by four countries any countries which claim these islands can
basically extend their EEZ to include whole Spartly islands. The reason why
Myanmar is so concerned about this is because Myanmar is geographically
neighboring the conflict area.

The republic of the Union of Myanmar kept
ASEAN position neutral on the South China Sea disputes. U Htin Kyaw stated in a
speech, “Keeping ASEAN position neutral on the South China Sea does not mean
that we will not do anything to solve the dispute.”

Myanmar has contributed to solve this
dispute peacefully. This nation has signed treaties about this conflict and
actively participated in the meetings related to the same. Highly considering
that if the dispute leads to a war, Myanmar will be highly affected since it
lies very close to China and the Sea.

The Sanchi which
was carrying 1 million barrels of oil trading from Iran to South Korea in the
East China Sea exploded when it collided with a Hong Kong registered CF
crystals Freighter. It was burning since 9 days and finally sinked. Assuming
that the same could happen in any other sea, Myanmar has produced fire fighter
ships with extreme facilities which can control the fire.

According
to Myanmar officials, “the EEZ was created in order to provide subsistence
fishing grounds for developing nation. So, Vietnam is a classic case for this.
The EEZ was never designed to try to give great powers access to additional oil
and gas on the sea bed.” Hence, the EEZ should not be used negatively.

China constructed Airstrips, Radar
systems and Missile programs with 200 troops in the manmade islands over the
Spartly islands. The strangest thing about the island is that in 2014 these
islands didn’t exist. They were just underground reefs. After 2014, huge
Chinese ships could be seen pumping sand to those reefs adding an average of
more than 3.5 acres every day.

Various policies have been made and
treaties have been signed in the context of the sea dispute. The policies
include the 12 nautical miles ‘sovereign’ territory and 200 nautical miles
‘Exclusive Economic Zone’ where as treaties include the ‘UNCLOS’. Various countries
have signed this treaty. Myanmar is one of the ratification members of this
treaty.

Research has showed that approximately
30% of world trade passes through the South China Sea to fulfill the needs of booming
2.2 billion East Asian people. Additionally, the South China Sea is the home of
10% of world’s fish; the South China Sea has around 11 billion barrels of oil
and 190 trillion feet3 of Natural Gases making it one of the most
important water bodies of the whole world. The use of weapons will highly
affect the sea and its resources and aquatic life.   Hence,
solving this dispute peacefully and without the use of weapons is very
important.  

When
the delegate was writing this position paper, the delegation felt that this
issue should be under the consideration of all countries keeping in mind that
this dispute involves military bases which are a serious matter. Countries
should understand that this dispute may lead to violence.