据美国《华尔街日报》报导，目前在中国主张主权的南中国海，至少有九个油气区块处于开发阶段，预计将在两年内投产。这些石油开采投资者，包括荷兰皇家“壳牌有限公司”(Royal Dutch Shell PLC, RDSB.LN)、和总部设在美国的“墨菲石油公司”（Murphy Oil Corp），以及“康菲石油公司”(ConocoPhillips, COP)。
《华尔街日报》引述新加坡东南亚研究所(Institute of Southeast Asian Studies)高级研究员斯托里(Ian Storey)的话表示，面对中共一直在提升马来西亚附近的军事存在，马来西亚可能将不得不重新调整南中国海政策。他还补充说，也许马来西亚应该尽早对中国采取更强硬的立场。
Why Is China Silent On The South China Sea Oil Drilling?
“Some of the South China Sea’s most productive oil and gas
deposits are off the coast of the states Sabah and Sarawak
on Malaysia’s side of Borneo," reported
the Wall Street Journal.
An international energy consortium recently announced
the discovery of natural-gas off Malaysia’s coast.
China issued no public objections regarding
China has also been quiet over the years regarding extensive
Malaysian-sponsored oil-and-gas exploration and production
in the overlapping South China Sea territory.
This low profile stance on overlapping claims is in contrast
to the confrontation between China and Vietnam.
Why is there such a huge difference? Let’s take a look.
The Wall Street Journal reported that, “at least nine
oil-and-gas blocks are now under development and expected
to start pumping within two years.
Investors include Royal Dutch Shell, U.S.-based Murphy Oil
Corp. and ConocoPhillips."
An international energy consortium announced on June 22
a natural-gas discovery around 144 kilometers, or 90 miles,
off the coast of Malaysia’s state of Sarawak,
inside waters where China previously has asserted claims.
Murphy Oil said it had explored in the area since 1999.
Malaysia has also supported oil exploitation in the area.
The area is the origin of most of Malaysia’s natural-gas
production, according to the U.S. government Energy
WSJ commented that, “the lack of confrontation is in contrast
with the jousting 1,000 kilometers to the north between China
and Vietnam, where coast-guard and fishing vessels
have faced off since early May."
Chris Wu, China Affairs magazine editor in chief:
“Does it mean the Chinese Communist Party (CCP)
acknowledges the announcement?"
Commentator Lan Su: “It will not risk confronting the U.S.
by engaging in a battle with Vietnam.
It does not care about Vietnam either.
The more conflict there is with other ASEAN countries
as well as other Asia-Pacific countries, the more
these countries will get closer to the US.
Vietnam was chosen to divert attention. That was it.
It will not oppose the rest of these countries."
Earlier this year, the CCP deployed a rig in an area claimed
both by both China and Vietnam.
Since early May, coast-guard and fishing vessels
between both countries have faced off, domestic protests
resulting in destruction of Chinese owned factories
by rioters in Vietnam.
Meanwhile, China Maritime Safety Administration announced
three drilling rigs in the South China Sea will begin
operating on June 13.
Lan Su: “The dispute must be resolved, otherwise the oil will
not leave. The oil is flammable, and the rigs are fixed targets
which can be destroyed at anytime.
Joint development is the best way to retrieve the oil.
The CCP engages in conflict with a purpose.
It can be used to resolve its domestic conflicts."
Furthermore, “sparring over rival claims by the Philippines
and Chinais becoming increasingly heated, while in the East
China Sea, Chinese and Japanese fighter planes and armed
vessels frequently circle each other in asserting overlapping
claims," wrote WSJ.
Last September, collision near the Diaoyu Islands inspired
the sovereignty dispute between the two countries after China
announced that it would routinely patrol the waters
near the Diaoyu Islands, with fighter planes and bombers
in the disputed area.
Lan Su: “It is to divert domestic conflicts, and to please
the hawks for control of the armed forces.
That is the reason why there is conflict
in the South China Sea and with Japan.
The conflict has to be able to provoke ethnic conflicts
and ethnic hatred.
With the evasion history of Japan to China,
the ethnic hatred is easy to manipulate."
“Individual nations, such as Vietnam and the Philippines,
have sought a tougher collective response to Beijing.
Meanwhile, Cambodia—a close ally of China—has sided
with Beijing in previous Asean discussions on the disputes,"
said the WSJ article.
In his recent visit to Hanoi, Lieutenant General Khieu Saphat,
Deputy Director of the Personnel Department
of the Cambodian Ministry of National Defense, expressed
his support for Vietnam by objecting to China’s unlawful
actions in the East Sea.
WSJ quoted Ian Storey, senior fellow at the Singapore-based
Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, “Malaysia may have
to recalibrate its South China Sea policy."
He added, “Perhaps sooner rather than later Malaysia
may have to take a tougher line against Beijing."
Interview & Edit/Liu Hui Post-Production/Zhong Yuan