Monthly Archives: August 2013

History the Weak Link in Beijing’s Maritime Claims

Beijing’s claims to nearly all of the South China Sea are now embossed in new Chinese passports and official maps. Chinese leaders and foreign ministry spokespersons insist with increasing truculence that the islands, rocks, and reefs have been China’s “territory since ancient times.” Normally, the overlapping territorial claims to sovereignty and maritime boundaries ought to […]

UN tribunal gives first order on Phl’s case vs China

MANILA, Philippines – The United Nation’s Arbitral Tribunal in the Hague has given the Philippines until March 30, 2014 to make all the necessary submissions in its case on the territorial dispute with China. The Arbitral Tribunal has issued its first Procedural Order, which establishes the initial timetable for the arbitration and adopting Rules of […]

AFP: Up to 5 Chinese ships circling Panatag, Ayungin

MANILA, Philippines — Armed Forces chief Gen Emmanuel Bautista said 2 to 5 Chinese ships are circling the Ayungin (Second Thomas Shoal) and Panatag (Scarborough) shoals at any given time and some have gone as close as 2 nautical miles or about 4 kilometers to Ayungin. These are combinations of Chinese Maritime Surveillance (CMS) ships, […]

China can help guide critical COC talks

Senior officials from China and ASEAN will reportedly focus on agreeing to a Code of Conduct (COC) in the South China Sea in Suzhou, China’s Jiangsu Province next month. Judging by official statements, China has always been stressing a gradual process to reach a COC. But the upcoming negotiations can be considered as a more […]

Permanent Court of Arbitration Issuance on the Arbitration between the Republic of the Philippines and the People’s Republic of China: Arbitral Tribunal Establishes Rules of Procedure and Initial Timetable

The Arbitral Tribunal in the case brought by the Republic of the Philippines against the People’s Republic of China under Annex VII to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (“the Convention”), has issued its first Procedural Order, establishing the initial timetable for the arbitration and adopting Rules of Procedure. This follows […]


Introduction: International law and the South China Sea After a long summer replete with tensions and incidents in both the South China2 and East China Seas, the new year failed to bring renewed hopes for a peaceful resolution to the myriad territorial conflicts casting a shadow on the Asia-Pacific Region. Rather the contrary, renewed incidents, […]

Xi Jinping’s Overlooked Revelation on China’s Maritime Disputes

…But Xi’s most interesting remarks have received scant attention. Under China’s system of collective leadership, speeches at Politburo meetings usually reflect the consensus of the participants – in this case, China’s top 25 leaders. Near the end of his address at the most recent study session, Xi discussed China’s ongoing maritime disputes and predictably repeated many now […]

Asean agrees on South China Sea conduct

Asean foreign ministers agreed yesterday to a code of conduct (COC) to tackle conflicts in the South China Sea. The agreement was reached at an informal gathering in Hua Hin to discuss ways of strengthening… Read more using this link:

US, Philippines discuss wider US military presence

MANILA, Philippines (AP) A larger U.S. military presence in the Philippines will help the country detect and deter territorial intrusions in the South China Sea through information-sharing but American troops will still be banned from getting involved in regular security operations, the Philippine defense chief said Wednesday. The last U.S. military base in the Philippines […]