Monthly Archives: August 2016

The Natunas: Why Is Indonesia Developing A South China Sea Flashpoint?

Indonesia’s resource-rich Natuna Islands, located in the South China Sea northwest of Borneo, tend to be subject to periodic hype from the international media. That’s due to a couple of reasons. For one, though Indonesia is not officially a claimant in the South China Sea disputes, China’s nine-dash line overlaps with the exclusive economic zone […]

East Timor-Australia maritime border dispute set to be negotiated at The Hague

The ongoing dispute between Australia and East Timor over maritime boundaries could be resolved in a landmark case that begins in the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague on Monday. In April, East Timor triggered compulsory conciliation under the UN’s Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) over the disputed territory that contains […]

South China Sea Fact: One of the Last Things South Vietnam Did Was Fight China

In January 1974, South Vietnamese forces clashed with the People’s Liberation Army Navy in the Paracel Island chain—a hot spot between China and present day Vietnam today. The two countries had established their competing claims to the islands—which the Vietnamese refer to as Hoang Sa and the Chinese call Xisha—well before they came to blows. […]

Expert: China’s ‘Peaceful Rise’ Exists Only In Beijing’s Imagination

An intensifying debate about China’s meteoric and historically-unparalleled rise is leading some to question its allegedly peaceful nature. Apologists insist China’s rise is benevolent, but this belief isn’t one overwhelmingly shared by the international community, argues China expert Frank Ching in a recent article on China’s pursuit of regional dominance in the Asia Pacific. Building […]

A New Legal Landscape in the South China Sea

We need to fully grasp the significance of the Philippines v. China verdict. On July 12, 2016, the arbitral tribunal in the South China Sea arbitration case instituted under Annex VII of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) between the Philippines and China handed out its final Award. It has […]

The Naming of Seas is a Practical Matter

Two centuries or more of western domination of much of the world has not only redrawn the global political maps but in many cases determined place names. If that seems arcane, it is not. It was western powers that named the South China Sea, for instance. It is a name that China is now using […]

Duterte to China ambassador: Talks should be based on Hague ruling

MANILA, Philippines — After asking Beijing to act in good faith in dealing with the Philippines, President Rodrigo Duterte insisted on Friday night that any upcoming bilateral talks with China be based on the arbitral tribunal’s ruling on the South China Sea dispute. The president stressed this point during an hours-long meeting with Chinese Ambassador […]

Electronic Warfare Comes to the South China Sea (and Why it Matters)

“An information technology-based war at sea is sudden, cruel and short…” was how the Chinese military characterized a peer-to-peer naval conflict at sea in a public statement at the beginning of the month during PLAN naval exercises. The exercises, occurring in the East China Sea, were designed to increase the PLAN’s “assault intensity, precision, stability […]

Exclusive: Vietnam moves new rocket launchers into disputed South China Sea – sources

Vietnam has discreetly fortified several of its islands in the disputed South China Sea with new mobile rocket launchers capable of striking China’s runways and military installations across the vital trade route, according to Western officials. Diplomats and military officers told Reuters that intelligence shows Hanoi has shipped the launchers from the Vietnamese mainland into […]