February 26, 2021
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Surprise move
South China Sea tension may spark a crisis in ASEAN unity China’s recent standoff with Vietnam over the placement of a large flotilla of oil rigs in the latter’s EEZ in South China Sea may create fresh round of tension and could seriously undermine the ASEAN unity in the long run if the group fails to take appropriate steps in an urgent manner. This has however sparked a debate over the motive and timing of such an act, which is not ethical and legally correct. At the same time it is proving to be a major challenge to whole of Asia at a time when US President is advocating about a new US rebalancing policy towards Asia. This step of China will not only push the ASEAN members into a corner but in the long run provide ample space for the outside powers to play a greater role in the management of geopolitical events in the whole region. The South China Sea has geo-strategic importance not only for South East Asian nations but also to the whole and particularly to the of Asia Pacific region. In fact, East Asian economies have been dependent on the life-line of sea lanes of communications that link Asia Pacific with Indian Ocean and Europe, America, Middle East and rest of Asia. Preserving security and safety of maritime and aviation connectivity along with seeking a peaceful resolution for the disputes in South China Sea could prove to be in the interests of people in the region. However, China has increasingly been trying to dominate th
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