Plunge Pontificates

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Monday, April 17, 2006

The Line in the Sea has been Drawn

And China is daring Japan to cross it.

Japan has asked China to clarify reports that Beijing has imposed a ban on shipping near disputed gas fields in the East China Sea.

Both Japan and China have claimed rights to develop the Pinghu gas field which straddles an area both countries say is part of their territory.

News reports say a ban has been imposed while Chinese workers lay pipelines and cables in the area.
Ouch. This can't be good. I'm not sure what Japan is going to do either. It looks as if the gas reservers under this area are extensive enough that China is playing hardball.



Here you can see the areas that each claim, each well inside the others.

Reports over the last few days have suggested the Chinese authorities have now banned all unauthorised shipping traffic around the Pinghu gas field until the end of September.
China is going for the touchdown here. Like all developing and developed nations, China has a huge thirst for fuel and feels that it has found the motherlode. Now we have to see if Japan will allow it to be snatched out of their hands.