February 25, 2021
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Tilting balance
The rising military deployment in the Pacific With China significantly bolstering its navy and the US shifting its focus to the Asia Pacific region, both the powers seem to be on collision course. Since the region is rich in oil and gas and extremely crucial for global trade, Chinese policy to up the ante in the maritime area has compelled the US to give moral support on territorial disputes to its allies in the region by strengthening and relocating its forces. With increasing verbal duel and show of military strength between the Chinese and the Japanese navies for the Senkaku islands and Chinese decision to establish a city and the military garrison on the disputed Paracel islands claimed by Vietnam, China has stirred the East China Sea and the South China Sea. China has also laid claim to roughly whole of South China Sea, an area about two million square kms. Since the maritime area handles half the annual tonnage of international merchant navies and the region also sees a third of the world’s maritime traffic the powers who have a stake in maintaining the international character of the Ocean have moved forward to take on the Chinese intransigence. As almost 80 percent of China’s crude import passes through this maritime region, China has a natural interest in securing the sea lanes but its aggressive posture smacks of its desire to establish control over this maritime area, which is floating with estimated 130 billion barrels of crude oi
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