Territorial Disputes

October 10, 2012 in Daily Bulletin, Signature

For a while it looked like disputes over a few islands might cause China and Japan to go to war with each other. Brian Palmer used the opportunity to look at how much of the land on our planet is currently in dispute:

  • If one only counts disputes between countries, and not separatist regions, then less than 0.5% of the earth’s landmass is under dispute across 60 conflicts.
  • More than a quarter of this comes from just one of the conflicts: the dispute over Kashmir which is claimed by India, China, and Pakistan.
  • Since World War II more than 60% of territorial disputes have been settled.
  • The majority of the countries involved in territorial disputes are nondemocratic, suggesting that if democracy continues to spread then less of the world’s landmass will remain contested.

Read more about important exceptions to the rule, China’s recent behaviour, and much more over here.

Source: Slate