Our friend and colleague Will Rogers at the Center for a New American Security recently penned an interesting piece for the Christian Science Monitor on energy competition in the South China Sea.
He provides and highlights a set of recommendations for reducing tensions in the area:
First, the Association of South East Asian Nations, or ASEAN — the regional forum for addressing geopolitical and economic challenges — needs to play a more prominent role in neutralizing energy competition in the South China Sea.
One role that ASEAN should play is to help sculpt and enforce a renewed regional moratorium on deep sea drilling…
…Second, with a moratorium in place, countries should work multilaterally to get a handle on how much petroleum actually lies beneath the seabed. The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, or APEC, could help lead this effort. Since 1990, the APEC Energy Working Group has provided a forum for countries to address the region’s energy challenges, and it could lead the effort to develop common estimates.
The full article is worth a read.