The security of regional sea lanes
Date of Issue2005
S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
The emergence of China and India as major global players will not only transform the regional geopolitical landscape but will also mean an increased dependence on the sea as an avenue for trade and transportation of energy and raw materials. Within the region, the Malacca Straits, Sunda Straits, and the Lombok Straits are the main sea lanes through which trade, energy and raw material resources flow. Indeed, the strategic importance of the regional lanes was recognized by the late Michael Leifer but the threats identified at that time were primarily those that concerned the safety of navigation, the control of the freedom of passage by the coastal state as well as the interruption of passage in the sea lanes by an external naval power like the Soviet Union. The threats that Micheal Leifer had identified has faded into insignificance and new threats to the safety of shipping have arisen in their place, and these include piracy and the spectre of maritime terrorism.
DRNTU::Social sciences::Military and naval science
RSIS Working Papers ; 81/05
Nanyang Technological University