Border Security on Coast
Claims over territories and border definitions have been an issue since the beginning of mankind. The coastal borders are no stranger to disputes but with oil and gas resources becoming increasingly valuable, these disputes will become more prevalent.
Seaside border security is not an exact science; it is difficult to measure borders to the standard 12 nautical miles when this will coincide with other borders. In some cases, this coincides with islands that are not definitively owned.
This is the case with the current disputes between China and many of its neighbours. There are many islands in Southeast Asia (many more than we even realize) that have been discovered and claimed. The dispute however, has not much to do with the islands themselves, but the ability to claim the borders around them. It is believed that in the waters between the mainlands of Asia and these scattered islands are home to oil and gas deposits (Entous, 2015).
Once we involve a valuable resource, it is hard to let go. As things get heated, the importance of border security increases. Watch as these uncharted territories become rich with sonar clad equipment and security measures! It will be very interesting to see how these disputes are settled, as this will set the standards for disputes for centuries to come.
The Economist diagrams China’s border struggles and has a map of these disputed territories.
Learn more about the measures that some countries take to protect their surrounding waters.