South China Sea Current Affairs - 2019
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India has offered tsunami early warning-system to South China Sea (SCS) countries like Vietnam, Malaysia and Philippines as part of soft-diplomacy.
India already provides earthquake and tsunami-warning alerts to several countries in the Indian Ocean neighbourhood, as do Japan and Australia.
Features of Tsunami early warning-system
- Developed by scientists at the Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS).
- It warns concerned authorities of any large earthquake in the Ocean and threat it poses.
- Uses mathematical model to estimate if an earthquake in India’s oceanic neighbourhood can result in a tsunami.
- It sends out a series of graded warnings to warn officials of danger based on data received form sensors lodged on the ocean floor.
- These sensors can measure actual earthquake signals and based on it generates warnings.
The South China Sea (SCS) is a controversial region on which China exerting territorial rights over its large part. Some of these territorial claims have been challenged by Vietnam, Malaysia and the Philippines. On this issue, India considers that all countries must abide by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), which governs how countries must respect ocean boundaries and international waters of countries. India and China are signatory to this convention.
China has rapped United States for its interventions in Asia as tensions are growing between the two powers over territorial disputes in the South China Sea (SCS).
In this regard, China’s Defence Minister has levied thinly veiled criticism at recent US involvement in Asia’s trouble spots.
- China has claimed its territorial rights over almost the entire South China Sea region while other countries Malaysia, Brunei, Philippines, Vietnam and Taiwan also have rival claims.
- To support its rights, China also has built artificial islands capable of supporting military facilities the strategically vital South China Sea.
- Earlier to oppose China’s moves, US had conducted freedom of navigation operations close to artificial islands built by China in the SCS as it pose a challenge to freedom of navigation.
- Besides, it also had agreed to deploy a missile defence system in South Korea following repeated nuclear and missile tests by China’s ally North Korea.
- US also has sought to “pivot” to Asia by increasing its military and economic engagement with countries in region which is seen as its move to contain China’s growing power.
- In July 2016, an international Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) in its pronouncement had ruled that China has no legal basis over the entire SCS. However, China has rejected PCA verdict.