Oil Becoming Code for Sovereignty in Contested South China Sea

Dateline 2016-11-23, Voice of America Khmer edition (what hey?):

The search for oil and natural gas is seen as a driving factor in rival claims to the South China Sea, with many of the countries in the region currently reliant largely on fuel imports.

Yet no one has struck a head-turning deposit of oil or gas in the 3.5-million-square-km (1.4-square-mile) sea, which stretches from Taiwan to Singapore, despite prospecting since 1970.

Analysts who follow the South China Sea disputes point to national sovereignty as a top reason that countries are exploring for oil and gas. Brunei, China, Malaysia and Vietnam do their own prospecting. The Philippine government accepted exploration bids in 2014 from private companies.


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