May 11, 2012
The China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) started its first deep-sea drilling project in the South China Sea in response to domestic pressure on Beijing to assert its claims in the disputed area . . . It is unclear whether the platform's location, in a block Cnooc calls Liwan 6-1, is in disputed waters . . . the drilling site is located between the Paracel Islands – an archipelago claimed by both China and Vietnam – and the Macclesfield Bank, claimed by China and Taiwan . . . despite calls for international mediation or for some type of memorandum of understanding by ASEAN, China continues to aggressively assert its claims to potential disputed territories in the South China Sea . . . by actually starting a drilling project, China is showing that it is prepared to act unilaterally, knowing that it can succeed in any individual conflict.