Analysis: South China Sea

Stretching from Singapore and the Strait of Malacca in the southwest to the Strait of Taiwan in the northeast, the South China Sea is one the most important trade routes in the world and a potential source of hydrocarbons, particularly natural gas.
Several of the countries bordering the sea declare ownership of two island chains, the Spratly and Paracel Islands, to claim the surrounding sea and its resources. Almost a third of global crude oil and over half of global LNG trade passes through the sea.
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