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Overseas shipping in the South China Sea

Aug 3, 2008
The South China Sea is a channel of water that connects the Sea of Japan with the Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand and Indonesia. It is also a crossing route into the Indian Ocean, giving the manufacturing powers of the Far East access to India, Africa and the Middle East. The South China Sea is a major overseas shipping route and the lifeline for much of the commercial trade that takes place in that region of the world.

During World War II, the South China Sea saw many bloody battles between American and Japanese troops that both knew the importance of controlling this vital waterway. In the Vietnam conflict it was the jump off point for sorties from American aircraft carriers into the Vietnamese jungles. When troops were finally withdrawn in the early 1970's it remained a regular station for many of the peacekeeping forces that were left behind. Overseas shipping companies from America began to travel to distant ports in Cambodia, Thailand and the Philippines.

Taiwan, a tiny island off the coast of China that has become a world manufacturing and trade power, has utilized overseas shipping on the South China Sea to spread its influence throughout Southeast Asia. A large part of the success of this independent nation is attributed to its prime geographical position just south of the Sea of Japan and open to the Pacific Ocean.

Nations throughout the world have utilized the seas and oceans of the world for overseas shipping since civilization began. If you look at a map of Europe, Asia and Africa you can clearly see why Southeastern Asian nations have developed into overseas shipping giants. Start at the southern shore of Japan and follow the Sea of Japan into the South China Sea. You'll pass most of the coast of China, the island of Taiwan and the peninsula that contains Vietnam, Thailand and Cambodia. You'll also see the Philippines off to your left. Continue south and you'll come to Indonesia and the seaport of Jakarta. At this point you can take a left and head southeast to New Guinea, Australia and New Zealand or you can go through the Sunda Straight and into the Indian Ocean.

If you were an overseas shipping company and you took this route, you just delivered cargoes to ten countries on two different continents and traveled over five thousand miles. Japanese overseas shipping companies send hundreds of ships a day to travel the exact same path that you just followed. They also deliver to India, the Middle East, and Africa through the Indian Ocean and can reach Europe by following the Red Sea north to the Suez Canal and into the Mediterranean.

All of this adds up to one indisputable conclusion: geographical positioning on any of the world's waterways can lead to commercial success through overseas shipping. The countries of Southeast Asia that surround the South China Sea have become world powers in manufacturing and distribution. Fleets of cargo ships leave these nations every day carrying electronics, jewelry, furniture and automobiles to the rest of the world.
About the Author
Nir Dotan is a writer and promoter of
Overseas Shipping services,
Omega Shipping
Local as well as International Moving.
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