Speaking to CCTV, Carnegie’s Wang Tao discussed the regional sensitivities surrounding the South China Sea and the area's potential to alleviate China’s dependence on foreign oil imports. He also outlined some of the serious regional and environmental concerns raised by the South China Sea.

Emphasizing the environmental risks of deep sea oil exploration in the South China Sea and the strategic importance of the region to China, Wang said that the priority for Beijing should be developing sophisticated oil extraction technologies to produce oil as safely as possible. He added that since this area is critical to the transport of China’s global oil imports, maintaining peace in the South China Sea is more important to China’s oil supply and energy security than the exploitation of the resources in the region.