By Julian WITTKAMP

Today satellite pictures revealed an oil spill near the Island of Hainan in the South China Sea. International politics now debate on what caused the incident, if it is man-made or natural and how to limit the potentional damage to a minimum as fast as possible.

The UNEP was requested to develop an emergency plan. To summarize the most important positions in UNEP real quick:

Philippines states this incident as a problem of international interest, especially by the countries surrounding the chinese territorial waters. They accused China of having caused the catastrophe and not informing the international community although there were chinese ships nearby and by that willingly threatening the environment and endangering many lives.

China insists on fully funding the investigation and sending its own experts. The delegate acts as if this issue would have appeared completely unexpected to the Chinese. They seem to accept international support only regarding the clean-up process, officially because it would take international experts too long to arrive at Hainan, unofficially not willing to let international experts engage in research within their own territorial waters.

India and Egypt state that it would be against the law to send experts without the agreement of the Chinese government.

The majority of the delegates, nevertheless, seems to be willing to send an international team to examine the highly political issue, which regards not only China, but the whole eco-system in the South China Sea, with the chance of even spreading towards Vietnamese territorial waters.