Monthly Archives: November 2013

With Air Defense Zone, China is Waging Lawfare

The tension surrounding the East China Sea Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) is being covered in the kind of exhaustive detail that is rarely given to Asia’s maritime disputes. Many reports have surfaced claiming that the move might have been a strategic blunder for China. Yet, I’ve yet to see any reports explaining in precise […]

China sends fighter jets to patrol new air defense zone

BEIJING — The Chinese air force sent its mainstay Su-30 and J-11 fighters and an early-warning aircraft to patrol its air defense identification zone on Thursday, an air force spokesman told China’s state-run Xinhua news agency. The spokesman said the air force “will make patrol flights within the zone standard practice,” but did not clarify whether […]

Beijing’s grand vision of a blue-water Chinese lake

TOKYO — China’s assertive demarcation of the airspace over the East China Sea hints at an ambitious yet risky long-term strategy of maritime control. “I thought this would happen one day, but never that they would go ahead so soon,” said a Japanese national security source after China declared its new air defense identification zone last Saturday. Chinese national […]


(Publication Version) Speech delivered before the Philippine Bar Association 29 August 2013 Justice Antonio T. Carpio In the 17th century, England, Spain and Portugal, the naval superpowers of the day, claimed ownership of the oceans and seas they discovered, and enforced their claims through the barrel of the naval cannon. In 1609, Hugo Grotius, the […]

Putin vows to boost Russian military supplies to Vietnam amid South China Sea dispute

ussian President Vladimir Putin has pledged to expand military supplies to Vietnam, a move that looks set to raise concerns from Beijing as tensions over the South China Sea linger. In the latest sign of deepening military ties between the former allies, Putin made the announcement yesterday during a one-day state visit to Vietnam. While […]

Why Is China Giving the Philippines the Cold Shoulder?

In the wake of the devastating Typhoon Haiyan, international aid is flowing to the Philippines. The United Nations released $25 million from an emergency fund and the United States pledged $20 million in immediate relief. But, for the moment at least, precious little assistance is coming from the region’s behemoth. The Chinese authorities announced a […]

The Chinese view on the Philippine arbitration on the West Philippine Sea

Participants to the recently concluded 4th biennial Conference of the Asian Society of International Law in New Delhi, India last November 15, 2017 heard for the first time the Chinese position on the Philippine arbitral claim on the West Philippines Sea dispute. In the said conference, I delivered a paper entitled “What next after the […]

‘Yolanda’ kicks out Chinese from Ayungin Reef, Philippine Marines on grounded ship safe

MANILA – Super typhoon Yolanda has sent home Chinese maritime and Navy vessels at the Ayungin Reef in Palawan, while the half a dozen Philippine Marines on board a rusting and grounded World War II-era ship are safe, a source told This effectively ends the standoff between the two countries some 100 nautical miles […]

How China can cement its territorial claims in the South China Sea

China has painted itself into a diplomatic and legal corner regarding its claims in the South China Sea. Its infamous and ambiguous “historic” nine-dash line has been variously interpreted by rival claimants as a national boundary; a sovereignty claim to all water and land within it; and, more optimistically, as an indicator of a sovereignty […]