South China Sea dispute essay

South China Sea dispute

The complexity associated with the trade of oil and other hydrocarbon related has led to the development of various legislations in different countries which include petroleum exploration laws, territorial legislations and oil refinery laws. In China, Taiwan and Philippines, the hydrocarbon laws aim to improve the benefits of petroleum mining and refining to the domestic markets and the economy. The hydrocarbon law in Vietnam also seeks to stop foreign companies from prospecting for oil in its territorial waters. Though the principles of these laws are similar, each country has adopted its own independent legal provisions based on the country’s tradition and religious position (Dallas, 2015).

Hydrocarbon laws in China, Taiwan, Vietnam and Philippines

In China and Vietnam, various hydrocarbon laws have been established to supervise and enhance the petroleum and fuel sector including environmental regulations, exploration restriction and oil processing laws, which contribute to the level of hydrocarbon emitted in the country. Laws in these two countries have provided provisions for the exploration of the hydrocarbon sector including the responsibilities and powers of the state-owned hydrocarbon actions (Nazhad, 2008).  In addition, China and Vietnam have provisions on how contracts on exploration, transportation and marketing of hydrocarbons can be done. Exploration of oil in China and Vietnam is placed under independent commissions under the joint exploration legislations, which are established based on the international petroleum laws. This approach has assisted in reducing the tension between Vietnam and china, a contributing factor in the south sea dispute. The hydrocarbon laws that have been adopted in China have attempted to seal their control of Daqing and Heilongjiang oil explorations points. Apart from Taiwan, Japan has also been engaged with oil tussles with China, an issue that has influenced their legal developments through the development of economic and environmental laws. Appendix 1 shows the disputed areas that China has laid claim on and continues to explore for oil (O’Connor, Andzelm & Robbins, 2015).

EESA1015W Assignment 2 Marking scheme

Although other countries in Asia such as Malaysia and Singapore lack proper petroleum and hydrocarbon laws based on the provisions of the international laws, Philippines and Taiwan led the way by legislating restrictive legal provisions aimed at strengthening activities within the hydrocarbon sector (Kariotis, 2011). In Taiwan, the Petroleum Administrative Act was established to regulate the exploration, refining and exportation actions of stakeholders within the hydrocarbon sector. The Act has been developed to ensure that the production and sales of oil in the country is safeguarded in order to improve the supply of oil and enhance the livelihood of the people. Oil refining and processing of petroleum products such as liquefied petroleum gas and aviation fuel is captured within the petroleum administrative laws of Taiwan. (Lungariello, 2014). In Philippines, the hydrocarbon Act was developed in early 1950s as a way of protecting the petroleum sectors and increasing economic benefits to the people of Philippines and improving overall livelihood. According to this law, the profit from petroleum processing should benefit all members of the society and the operations should affect the environment   and the people living close to the refineries minimally. The territorial conflicts between China and Taiwan have further complicated the development of proper hydrocarbon laws. This is due to lack of understanding on the territorial boundaries and the exploration rights and limits of the two countries. The conflict over the East China Sea that pities China, Philippines, japan and other countries that shared the waterway continue despite the increasing demand for petroleum gas in Taiwan as shown in Appendix 2 (O’Connor, Andzelm & Robbins, 2015).

Differences and Similarities in the hydrocarbon laws

Most of the hydrocarbon laws that have been analyzed have a number of similarities and commonalities, which demonstrate their adherence to international hydrocarbon laws. Countries like Taiwan and China have similar legal provisions on the use and refining of hydrocarbons in the country (Silva, 2011). The social flow of resources from petroleum proceeds differ based on the economic structure of China and Taiwan and their overall goals on the environment (O’Connor, Andzelm & Robbins, 2015).

However, a number of differences exist which depend on the year of legislation which in this case is 1975 and the issues discussed in the legislations. Philippines have different hydrocarbon laws compared to Vietnam and Japan because the Philippine law was established several years before changes occurred within the petroleum sector and therefore captured historical exploration challenges and conflicts. However, emerging legal requirements and provisions of international hydrocarbon energy regulatory bodies such as the International Confederation of Energy Regulators have led to the formalization and the development of common legal provisions. Development of laws in the South East Asian region has been influenced by the comparative energy consumption in the region. In Appendix 3, we seethe dependence and level of production of petroleum, which in South Asia differs from other parts of the continent or beyond (O’Connor, Andzelm & Robbins, 2015).

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