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Wednesday, September 14, 2005

The ridiculous dispute raised by Japan

Partially it is an answer for the post by Marytn at Pekingduck.

Picture stolen from there as well.


Many westerners might have totally underestimated the willingness of cooperation and compromise of the Chinese government. It is amazing that western media did not report the ongoing cooperation among China, Vietnam and Philippine for sharing the oil resources in South China Sea. The oil companies of these three countries have set up a joint venture to investigate the geographic nature of South China Sea. The first agreement was signed in this March for collecting the earthquake data near the oil field. The job will cost $16 million. The cost will be shared by 3 parties. China oilfield service limited, a branch of CNOOC, finally won the bid for this job only half month ago. (I copied the brief news on my blog several weeks ago, but in Chinese)
However Chinese government takes a different stand on the issue of Chunxiao oil field, and I do think they have the right reason to be angry because the dispute raised by Japanese is totally ridiculous. They said the oil field may siphon off resources from the Japanese side?! Is it the exactly same excuse which has been used by Saddam to invade Kuwait in 1991? Not to mention, according the UN convention on the law of the sea, that side can not be called Japanese side at all!

The so called median line claimed by Japan is only applicable to the delimitation of territorial sea, which is generally 12 miles from the land. The delimitation of economic zone is decided according to the continental shelf conventionally, as China claims in the case. If median line is overwhelmingly used for exclusive economic zone, the continental countries will be at the huge disadvantage compared with countries surrounded by the sea. That’s why it’s not adopted in the UN convention on the delimitation of EEZ. No doubt if Japan grabs the permanent seat in UN Security Council, it may try to change that. Just for this issue, China shouldn’t support Japan’s bid for the seat.

Now we should know that basically what China is doing now is nothing to do with the resources of Japan. There is no dispute for Chunxiao field at all , which totally locates inside the exclusive economic zone of China, no matter how you draw the line. If there is, the dispute is about so called “Japanese side” according to the UN convention.

Nevertheless, I still believe that China and Japan will cooperate to drill the oil from the disputable economic zone eventually. (Nothing to do with Chunxiao, Ok?) However, there might have no economic plan for now. So we should wait. If Japan starts drilling the oil from that side by themselves, they will violently break the international convention. China will be forced to handle that. There are many solutions to handle this situation, which is at least enough to make drilling unprofitable.

15 Comments:

  • At 12:52 AM, Blogger Sun Bin said…

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,3-1567952,00.html

    here is the map on Times, same as duck's. i think the line was draw carelessly, it should coincide with the continental shelf's edge.

    but what this means is China owns all the oil/gas, because fossil fuel is only found on the 'shelf', not on the sea trench.

     
  • At 3:00 AM, Anonymous soudenjapan said…

    The Japanese foreign ministry kept requesting in vain, for a year or two, to the Chinese government to share the data with regard to the actual location of the natural gass which they are trying to siphon out.

    The Japanese naturally suspect that the location actually belong to the disputed zone, otherwise China wouldn't have chosen the point of drilling so far away from the continent and so close to the disputed zone because it does not make sense economically.

    While ingnoring the request for clarification, China kept carrying out her drilling plan as scheduled. The Chinese government did not give the Japanese government a choice but to launch its own exploration. The exploartion was not suddenly permitted by the Japanese government. There was a long waiting period, waiting for a response from the Chinese governent.

     
  • At 4:43 PM, Blogger beforestforever said…

    soudenjapan:
    Again, you use "siphon out", which makes you guys exactly like Saddam, and makes me nervous. Do you have any scientific evidence, or geological data, or law to suppost your claim of "siphon out" resource from that side?

    Do you think Saddam was justified in 1991? Answer this question, please.

    Furthermore, why should China report anything to Japan while drilling oil&gas from its own undisputed EEZ? I guess it's highly abnormal for Chinese government to report that to any other foreign government.

    However you guys are different, you want to drill in the highly DISPUTED EEZ!!! which is a big problem here.

    In terms of the actual location of Chunxiao, I guess you were joking. You guys got very advanced satellites which can position Chinese oil field in meters. If you say Japan don't have precise location and want to know that from China, it is purly an excuse!

    You mentioned it's suspicious for China to drill oil so far from the mainland, so near from the median line, etc. But the location is not controlled by China government, Ok? Nature does it. If China can decide where has oil, I won't be here talking.

    Finally it's economical, at least for China with cheap labers and equipments. Big shanghai area will rely on it for the future development.

    Sun bin,
    I finally figure out what they've drawn is the limit of 200 N. miles.

     
  • At 11:28 PM, Blogger Sun Bin said…

    i am not sure if it is 200 Nautical mile (374 km). as it is about the 'height' of taiwan island. but that distance seems to be larger.

    i guess it is the mid-line between the edge of continental shelf and okinawa island chain.

     
  • At 7:29 PM, Blogger beforestforever said…

    probably you are right, sun bin. I have read a report before which mentioned that the continental shelf of China is 350 N. mile wide. seems the line is not up to that limit either.

     
  • At 11:08 PM, Anonymous soudenjapan said…

    >Do you have any scientific evidence, or geological data,
    > or law to suppost your claim of "siphon out" resource
    > from that side?

    First, Japan and China have an agreement not to exploit natural resources located within the disputed zone. Is China breaking the agreement? It is a logical, reasonble suspicion that needs to be dispelled.

    Second, has the Chinese government denid the allegation raised by Japan? If not, why not?

    >Do you think Saddam was justified in 1991? Answer
    > this question, please.

    No, he wasn't. But Iraq is Iraq, and Japan is Japan. They have nothing to do with each other.

    >Furthermore, why should China report anything to Japan
    > while drilling oil&gas from its own undisputed EEZ?

    As I worte above, China and Japan have an official agreement. Given the location of dilling equipment so close to the zone, it is highly unlikely that the natural resource lies within the Chinese side only. Besides, what's wrong with clarifying the location if in fact the gas is located within Chinese territory? Refusing to open the data only makes others even more suspicious.

    >However you guys are different, you want to drill
    >in the highly DISPUTED EEZ!!!

    The Chinese government can stop the Japan's exloration by providing proof that the Chinese project has nothing to do with the resources within the disputed zone.


    >But the location is not controlled by China government,
    > Ok? Nature does it.

    That is exactly why the location has to be determined and the allegation has to be cleared. What it takes is simply to provide the data with reagrd to the location of the natural resource. What is the reason for not doing that?


    >Finally it's economical, at least for China with cheap
    > labers and equipments. Big shanghai area will rely on it

    If the drilling point is closer to Shanhai, the cost will be even smaller and therefore more profitable. It is a simple economics. Why does it have to be so close to the disputed zone?

     
  • At 12:10 AM, Blogger Sun Bin said…

    "Why does it have to be so close to the disputed zone?"

    from china's perspective, it is far away from its claimed boundary. i think japan can raise its suspicion. but suspicion is not proof. so it does not help with the accusation.
    also, the location of the platform is clearly on china's side. so there is no reason to share the data.

    however, if the 2 countries promised to not explore the disputed site, then neither country should have any data. in reality, maybe both had some incomplate data, but neither can admit that. therefore, japan is making the request, as a act to lay blame on china, even though it knows that it does not amount to any legal ground.

     
  • At 12:26 AM, Blogger Sun Bin said…

    in fact, according to the link in the next post by forest, china has 8 other platforms on chinese side. chunxiao is the one that is closest to japan's claimed line.

     
  • At 4:21 AM, Anonymous soudenjapan said…

    >i think japan can raise its suspicion. but suspicion
    > is not proof. so it does not help with the accusation.

    In that case, Japan is doing the right thing in that area, gathering data on her own to make sure that China is not violating the agreement. That's how Japan's exploration is justified. Basically they do not need cooperation from the Chinese government. They can do it on their own.

    The most important question is:
    Has the Chinese government stated clearly that it is not trying to siphon out gas or oil or whatever that exist down below the disputed zone? If not, why not?

    >also, the location of the platform is clearly on
    >china's side. so there is no reason to share the data.

    The location itself is not an real issue. The real issue is the location of the natural resource China is trying to siphon out from that point. No one is demanding to change the drilling point as long as it is inside of the Chinese water.

    >china has 8 other platforms on chinese side. chunxiao
    >is the one that is closest to japan's claimed line.

    All the more reason why you need that one so close to the zone? Anyhow, someone has to make sure that China is not violating the agreement.

     
  • At 12:15 PM, Blogger Sun Bin said…

    japan has the full right to drill and research on the undisputed area, but not inside the disputed area.
    according to what you said, both sides agreed not to touch the disputed area. so what the Imperial Oil Company (what a name) does is violating the agreement you quoted. right?

     
  • At 5:20 PM, Blogger beforestforever said…

    SoudenJapan
    I mentioned at the Pekingduck, the data you request cost millions or billions of dollars and years of investigation. How are you gonna pay for the report? Basically it's just a trick of Japan government. If China give you data showing that no siphoning at all, are you gonna believe it? If China give you data showing there is a siphoning, what's the next? I have mentioned in the worst scenerio, China will get 50% of disputed area, where could be the west half. This means the other side most likely is still Chinese side, Ok?
    Perhaps China government itself doesn't even know if the "siphon" effect is valid or not. How should you do about that. Give money to China to let us give you an answer?

    Again, do you have any international law to show me that your theory is valid according to the law and protected by law?

    I didn't know the agreement you mentioned at all, and even if there is, China didn't break it.
    Usually in the court, the person who raises issue has the reponsiblity to give the evidence. Now the whole thing is opposite!

     
  • At 6:30 PM, Anonymous soudenjapan said…

    >the data you request cost millions or billions of
    >dollars and years of investigation. How are you gonna
    > pay for the report?

    The Chinese does not need to disclose all data she has gathered so far. All they need to do is to provide the relevant data that prove China is not violating to the bilateral agreement. Besides, how can the Japanese make profit out of the data, if in fact the natural resource neatly lies within the Chinese territory. Japan is unable to do anything about it.

    beforestforever,

    >Basically it's just a trick of Japan government. If
    >China give you data showing that no siphoning at all,
    >are you gonna believe it?

    We don't need to worry about that yet. The Chinese government hasn't even officially denied the allegation, which is very easy thing to do. Don't you want to hear Chinese officials officially denying the "ridiculous" allegation rasied by Japan? What do you think? Because Japan would not believe it, even if China deny the allegation, is that why the Chinese government hasn't made official announcement yet?

     
  • At 6:49 PM, Anonymous soudenjapan said…

    Sun Bin,

    > so what the Imperial Oil Company (what a name)
    >does is violating the agreement you quoted. right?

    They are trying to make sure whether China is violating the agreement or not. That's all. The oil company has requested for decades for a permission from the government to do their exploration in the disputed zone for decades. But the government kept turning down the request because of the agreement between Japan and China. However, under the current pressing circumstances, China being unwilling to clarifying the allegation, they have no choice but to do the research on their own within the disputed zone close to the Chinese side.

    In other word, the Japanese hasn't violated the spirit of the agreement. But China might have. We need to clear the doubt. The only way to do it is the exploration the Imperial Oil is doing now.

     
  • At 1:47 PM, Blogger beforestforever said…

    Well, SoudenJapan, you don't sound like a man grown up in the famous law-abiding Japanese society.

    You are accusing us again and again without any evidence. Now suppose the court is asking you for the evidence so that our case can be ruled. You said the attitude is the evidence. What a joke.

    Now you even plan to break the law to collect more evidence showing that we broke the law first.

    Do you think any judge from any court according to any law will think your arguement justifiable and issue a permit to allow you breaking the law?

    Sorry, I don't think so.

     
  • At 2:07 PM, Blogger beforestforever said…

    This post will fade away soon, let's move to the upstairs

     

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