South China Sea disputes: The impact of overlapping claims among ASEAN, China and United States


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June 1, 2011



Nowadays, Both ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) and China is exhausted from overlapping claims over the South China Sea that it has no any progress on a resolution or cooperation. Besides, claimants on this high-valued natural resource territory have increased to six nations over the past 15 years.

The pressured event happened on March 2, 2011 when the Chinese Navy patrol boats harassed the Philippine oil exploration ship. This is also a serious agenda when Chinese defense minister visited Philippine last week.



Previously, step back to July 2010; the disagreement has been raised globally by US State Secretary Hilary Clinton during ASEAN Regional Forum in Hanoi Vietnam. She also expressed strong support for ASEAN document and proposed to simplify diplomatic cooperation to find a resolution since this South China Sea dispute has been arisen since 1995. Howsoever, China was not quite happy to negotiate with ASEAN with intervention from others and was upset when the South China Sea dispute was raised and discussed openly in this Forum because this is the first time that China was overlooked in claims over the South China Sea.

At the end of May 2011, two ASEAN countries consist of Vietnam and Philippines agreed to explore together for oil and gas in the disputed South China Sea.




These various situations made a high tension among China and ASEAN member nations due to the fact that China and ASEAN claimants has been keeping bilateral negotiations consistently for a long time.

It is difficult to predict a peace and stability in this disputed maritime territory.  If the dispute has an inappropriate controlling, it will affect enormously among China-ASEAN and between China-US since Philippines is an ally on defence treaty with the United States as are Japan and South Korea those are claiming on other islands with China also.

She added the fuel situation which have had worldwide repercussions still element of Thailand but the currency exchange rate is not as volatile at present.

The Department of Export Promotion (DEP) Director-General also stated that exporters strongly believed ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) shall be completed in 2015 and they are eager to infiltrate the ASEAN market.

She added that the trade value in the ASEAN market has been rising. The establishment and full functioning of the Asean Economic Community (AEC) will carry Thailand's trade value to be in higher levels of the ASEAN market. Furthermore,Thai exporters are in a good position to create a strategic plan to place their products overseas and compete with their rivals in neighboring countries.



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