The South China Sea’s hydrocarbon reserves are pretty important, after all

Aug 25, 2019 - Quartz

Tensions surrounding the South China Sea have always been largely about oil and natural gas. But it’s often been argued that the strategic shipping lanes carrying Middle East hydrocarbons to East Asia are what really matter, whereas the sea’s own energy resources are relatively modest and unproven.

That argument has become a bit less tenable. This week, the US State Department used blunt language regarding China’s unsettling actions within Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ), w...