Resolution of South China Sea dispute critical to global economy
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The South China Sea is vital to the United States and world policy. Half of the world's gas, oil, and shipping tonnage navigate this area.143 Approximately $5.3 trillion of global trade passes via the South China Sea each year.144 Likewise, the area is particularly critical to U.S. trade;145 $1.2 trillion of the $5.3 trillion total global trade passes through U.S. ports.146 In addition, while the fish stocks in the South China Sea are both depleted and poorly controlled, there is still a growing demand due to local population increases.147 The South China Sea holds almost one-tenth of the world's fisheries used as food for people.148 Finally, the potential for natural resources is equally great. Recent reports found that the South China Sea holds about 1.6 billion barrels of recoverable petroleum, while some Chinese studies increase this estimate by a power of ten.149 Further, it is estimated that a large amount of methane hydrates are in the South China Sea-"initial median estimates [of methane hydrates] place . . . China's [reserves] at 5 trillion cubic meters.”150 Control of the South China Sea is thus very important.
"The Time is Now: The United States Needs to Accede to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea to Exert Influence over the Competing Claims in the South China Sea
." Temple International and Comparative Law Journal
. Vol. 28. (2014): 1-26. [ More (7 quotes) ]