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The competition and cooperation between China and Japan on the Dispute about East China Sea Oil& Gas Fields
East China Sea Oil& gas fields
Exclusive economic zone (EEZ)
Energy crisis is the next event to influence the national security. Every country is exploring the source of oil or developing the other substitutive energy aggressively, and devotes to establish the mechanism of storage of oil and guarantee supply to reduce or limit the oncoming damage. This is the same situation for the two large exporting countries of the world, China and Japan. East China Sea oil& gas fields are located within the region of East China Sea between China and Japan. According to the exploring report of ECAFE (United Nations Economic Commission for Asia and the Far East) in 1968 and recent reports, there are about 7.7 billion tons inside. The begin of the dispute of East China Sea oil & gas fields is the production of Chunxiao natural gas field (known as Shirakaba gas field in Japanese). The maximum width between China and Japan in East China Sea is only 360 nautical miles.According to the U.N. Law of the Sea, the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) claimed by each country is 200 nautical miles (approximately 370 kilometers) from its coastline; it obviously overlaps between two countries. Furthermore, the Chunxiao natural gas field lies only 5 km from the median line of the two countries EEZ border claimed by Japan and the demarcation concerns about military and regional safeguard strategy of Diaoyu islands, it triggers Japanese to resist. For concerns of national benefits and nationalism between China and Japan, it has no any actual progress for East China Sea oil& gas fields after discussion 3 times till May 10, 2005. China always insists her sovereign rights on this event, though can take to consider the cooperation under the structure of non-sovereign rights concerning and the condition of mutual benefits. For China, military action is not the only selection to resolve the international disputes, “Join the global society and open the market economy” is the main target for her people to exert and only the stable energy supply can keep on the development of economics. Because the energy crisis could be the key to stop the development of China, the government is focus on the energy event seriously by raising the management level of energy department and bringing the energy policy into principle directives. It becomes major policy in present stage for China to guarantees the oil stably supply, promote the energy efficiency and develop substitution energy for the dependence of foreign petroleum increasing about 42.9%. Japan is poor in energy and about 95% energy is depending on import from other countries. The lack of energy source made energy usage very efficient for Japanese. In the end of 1970s, Japanese government set up “De-oil and great diversity of energy” policy for oil crisis. Under new source of energy developing and energy efficient promotion, oil was only about 40% among total energy supply of Japan. The discovery of East China Sea oil& gas fields is a chance to Japan, she will not give up to declare her right on it easily, and also a key to stop the power of China into the region of Pacific Ocean by Diaoyu islands claiming and EEZ expanding. It is concern with demarcation and sovereign rights in the event of East China Sea and the resolution of the dispute become variable for the cease of relationship between China and Japan. In contrast to the global enthusiastic over the integration of economics and politics, the situation of eastern Asia is tensional for the cold relationships between China and Japan, the issue of Taiwan and the interference of USA. Inthis study, the demarcation and energy dispute in the event of East China Sea are discussed. It also extends the study to deduce the future influence and find some possible ways to resolve the dispute by research on strategy, source and policy of energy, and on relationships between China and Japan.
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