09 November, 2005

Isn't that sweet?

It's nice to see a potential flashpoint getting potentially defused. I have a pet obsession with the Spratly Islands, an archipelago of tiny rocks and atolls in the South China Sea. They are disputed among 6.5 sovereign countries. China and Taiwan are the 1.5., adding to the Philippines, Vietnam, and partial claims by Malaysia and Brunei. I have been wondering for a while whether there was some sort of intrigue in the fact that China, Vietnam, and the Philippines signed a joint oil-exploration pact last year, cutting out the other claimants. Turns out I was being paranoid. The Philippines are now inviting the other claimants to join in. So if there is going to be war there, it won't be over oil, but rather over fish or shipping lanes. Awwww.


Considering the depletion of our oceans through overfishing  it seems depressingly likely to me that we will eventually have wars over fish even if peak oil turns out to be false.
Cute though. What a distinctively non Asian sounding nam.  

Posted by Saheli

Don't worry, there are plenty of other nams, each with its own political baggage. The Vietnamese say "Truong Sa" and the Chinese of all stripes say "Nansha." I don't know what Malaysians and Borneans say. I consider the word "Spratly" to be relatively neutral because the English are not, for the time being, parties to the dispute. But it may favor the Philippines. I'm unsure. 

Posted by hedgehog

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