The South China Sea is the most dangerous in the world. Natural disasters such as tsunamis are frequent here, killing over 1.000 people just a few years ago. But there’s another element combined with these extreme weather conditions that truly make it dangerous, the outdated ships traversing its waters.
Where is the South China Sea?
As its name suggests, South China see is found South from mainland China. It is part of the Pacific Ocean and it has a surface of over 3.5 million square kilometers or 1.4 million square miles. The water mass is one of the most popular when it comes to the shipping of goods. Since China is the world’s biggest manufacturer, it’s no wonder so many routes here are traversed by thousands of ships daily.
Why is the South China Sea dangerous?
There is no research to show the South China Sea is the most dangerous in the world. The Solent Southampton University published a study where it showed that more than 50% of the shipwrecks in this seas are cargo ships. It is not a place where you want to carry goods if you can avoid it. But the same university went on to say that many of these shipwrecks have been causing by the poor state of these cargo ships.
The same study also paints a gloomy future picture for this sea. The transportation of goods is expected to rise here over the next few years. Weather conditions are also expected to worsen considerably. As a result, this could be one of the seas that remains dangerous over the next decades.
Military dangers in the South China Sea
It’s not only the state of the ships and the frequent storms that make the South China Sea dangerous. The various territorial claims here make it an unsafe place of navigation.
Indonesia, China, and Taiwan are claiming the right to the Natuna Islands. The situation in the Parcel Islands is no different and even Vietnam is claiming its territories.
The situation in the Gulf of Thailand isn’t any better either. Many countries claim ownership of its waters. Territorial disputes are not going to resolve here quickly.
As early as 2010, the US expressed concerns over these disputes. At that time, secretary of state Hilary Clinton issued a warning telling China to solve the disputes in the region. China did not take this recommendation well and it told the US not to intervene in these local issues.
Since then, China has signed a few peace and non-escalation violence treaties. But these disputes are there and they are real. It’s only China and Vietnam that have signed such treaties. Other countries with interests in this area such as Cambodia aren’t even on the same page when it comes to letting the conflict settled.
The South China Sea is a place of conflict, unresolved disputed, extreme weather, and high ship numbers. Even fog can be a considerable enemy when there are thousands of shops on the sea.