History Essay

7589 WordsJan 31, 201331 Pages
Asian pacific countries and seaborne trade The economic development of Asian Pacific countries in the passing two to three decades has been closely related to seaborne trade, and the importance of sea lines of communication (SLOC) to regional countries would be much increased in the twenty-first century. SLOC security is now one of the priorities in regional countries strategic thinking and policy making. The oceans occupy 70 percent of the earth's surface, and the Pacific Ocean occupies 50 percent of the worlds ocean surface. World countries have depended on the free passage of goods across the seas, and the majority of Asian Pacific countries, with their export-oriented economic structure, have even more depended on maritime transportation. An uninterrupted flow of shipping is critical to regional countries' survival and prosperity. However, SLOC insecurities do exist, and the problems therein do not warrant optimistic views. Factors affect SLOC security include: the unstable political relationship among regional countries; different interpretation over the freedom of the seas principle; islands' sovereignty disputes and overlapping maritime jurisdictional claims; the emerging naval build-up; and non-traditional threats such as pollution, piracy, drug-trafficking, etc. Being not the possession of anyone country or power, sea lines have to be used and defended jointly by countries. Regional countries need to promote closer cooperation in guaranteeing SLOC security for mutual interests. China attaches much importance to SLOC security, and would play a positive role in the safeguarding of SLOC together with other regional countries. However, China needs to make sustained efforts to let the world community believe its sincerity in maintaining SLOC security and to clarify the misunderstanding prevalent in some world circles that ''China does not support the freedom

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