Tension between the United States and China in South China Sea has been flaring up since US ships came near the disputed islands of China. South China Sea has a very strategic location because of its commercial use as well as the disputed islands are also situated in the Sea. China is biggest claimant over the islands of Paracel, Spratly and other small reefs and islands is the leading country. Others such as Taiwan, Philippines, Vietnam and Malaysia are also the claimant of these islands. Abundance of oil and gas reserves there makes them important. Even China has military bases on islands and it perceives US presence there detrimental to its interests.
The presence of US navigational warships near the islands throughout this year heightened tension between US and China. However the US officials claim that their ships were not in the jurisdiction of Chinese Sea and were navigating away from 12 nautical mile limit as per international law. The US concerns are more about its allies and for the free navigation in the Sea, and moreover for its image of supremacy which is being challenged by China in the region. These acts created more trouble in the region because of the power show of US and China.
In this era of globalization and interdependence, there is no worthwhile risk of a world war, but there could be a violent clash over the issue between US and China. Both countries are pursuing their interests in the Pacific. China never had a military expedition throughout its history and is rising as a regional power in Asia. Currently China is on the stage where US had been in the 19th Century; therefore it can’t stop China expanding. Moreover the issue should be sorted out before further tensions.
There are many bodies like UN, ICJ (International Court of Justice) and even more the leaders of the two countries have to solve the issue peacefully and both countries should follow the International Law on Sea. The United States should realize the importance of China as a rising power and collaborate with it rather than creating troubles for the region.