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China-US Power Play at Core of East Asian Island Disputes

To most of the world, the squabbling over tiny islands claimed by China, Japan and South Korea might seem pointless, yet the value of the islands rests in the area they straddle.“The South China Sea and coastal passages from Malaysia to Russia are of vital economic interest to all who ply the shipping lanes used to ferry more than $1.2 trillion in goods annually between the United States and its Far East trading partners,” writes Carol J. Williams in a blog essay for the Los Angeles Times. The quarrel comes as the US shifts security focus toward the Asia Pacific region. Williams questions if the US can achieve balance in the region – maintaining good ties with China and “preventing it from bullying weaker countries.” As fishing boats swarm around the islands, and patrol boats follow to enforce territorial claims or provide protection, many analysts fear an accidental clash and inevitable conflict. The US has urged nations to resolve matters via the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, and as Williams puts it, cooperating on “exploring, extracting and protecting the coveted resources.” – YaleGlobal

China-US Power Play at Core of East Asian Island Disputes

As China, Japan and South Korea quarrel over fishing and resource rights around tiny islands in the Asia Pacific, the US pushes the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea; but China doesn’t trust the US as fair referee
Carol J. Williams
The Los Angeles Times, 14 September 2012
Click here for the article in The Los Angeles Times.
Source:The Los Angeles Times
Rights:The Los Angeles Times Copyright 2012