The main reason for the conflict within the Spratly islands lies in the territorial disputes and quarrels among the different countries. Natural resources include fish, guano, undetermined oil and natural gas potential. There are mainly 2 reasons for disputes to occur in these islands mainly
1. The potential oil and natural gas reserves that lies dormant under the Spratly Islands. 2. Construction of the Busiest port Asia’s had been experiencing a rapid economic boom with giants such as China emerging as the next economic superpower.
However, its economic advancement requires a large amount of energy and to claim the Spratly Islands would be useful for the countries’ future economic advancement. The 6 countries involve in the conflict is mainly Brunei, Malaysia, Philippines, China, Taiwan and Vietnam. Each of these countries requires the oil and natural resources within the sea bed of the Spratly islands to serve for these economic needs. Many of the emerging Asian countries require oil from the Middle East and Africa, these resources would have to pass through the Strait of Malacca into the South China Sea.
The Spratly Islands lies on the strategic lines of the South China Sea therefore means that all 6 countries hope to have their hands on the Spratly islands to set up a sea port along the South China Seas. Over half of the world’s merchant fleet sails through the South China Sea every year. Therefore setting up a sea port at the Spratly Islands would therefore create one of the busiest ports in the world. This port will create numerous job opportunities and revenues for emerging countries. This had therefore sparked a part of the conflict as due to countries desire for the strategic location to belong to them, they would quarrel and fight over the claims of these islands to support their economic needs. However, the main reason for the conflict for the Spratly Islands would still be the scarce oil and natural resources found in the Spratly Islands.
The future world is a world of a competition of economic development and economic gains and to obtain a substantial amount of oil and natural gas is the ability to create energy. The more energy a country has, the faster it can develop, the faster its economy can grow and become robust. Indeed, the strategic location of the Spratly Islands is also a cause for the conflict among the 6 countries. However, there is already a shortage of oil and natural gas in the world but there is not yet a shortage of strategic location in the South China Sea. The oil and natural resource is the main reason for the Asian countries to fight over these areas and it being a strategic location is merely an addition to their claim over these islands.