Friday, June 24, 2011
I heard about the islands when I was little, wishing then that our country would claim it, and now that I've grown up, I changed my mind. Now I hope nobody wins.
I have three good reasons - its 600 coral reefs where, to put it lightly, the likes of Nemo and Ariel go for bed and breakfast; its natural gas and oil deposits, estimated at 17.7 billion tons (Kuwait's reserves amount to 13 billion tons), that would surely launch a thousand ships from the East and West; its strategic location near major shipping lanes that would give the owner vast power over trade and commerce. (ICE Case Studies)
To give you an idea where the problem lies, Spratly Islands is located off the coasts of the Philippines and Malaysia and one third of the way from there to Vietnam in the South China Sea, pretty much explaining the roots of this dispute that has been going on before our time. (Wikipedia)
While it makes more sense than anything else that the Philippines and Malaysia would claim part of the islands because of proximity, China, Taiwan, and Vietnam are claiming it in its entirety because of historical records that allegedly prove land ownership. (TED)
To give you an analogy, look at Alaska. It is attached by land to Canada and far away from, but owned nevertheless by the U.S. The Americans bought it from the Russians on March 30, 1867, for $7.2 million. (Wikipedia)
However, I do not care much for who should own it. Like I said, I hope nobody ever does. Instead the people of this world should be concerned about the ecological implications of large scale oil drilling and commercial fishing that would happen if it should belong to anyone for that matter. (Encyclopedia of Earth)
For your information, most of its land is not arable. It may be because Mother Nature never intended it to be inhabited by human beings but by the sea turtles, the seabirds, and the fishes that use it as a resting and feeding place. (CIA World FactBook)
Surely, these God given gifts of Spratly Islands would help no one better than my own country, the Philippines. However, with the way global economy works nowadays, only a few major players of this world will end up benefiting from this untapped wealth of Mother Nature, no matter whose flag ends up flying over Spratly Islands.
Posted by Cordi Villa at 9:15 PM