Monthly Archives: September 2017

The South China Sea and China’s “Four Sha” Claim: New Legal Theory, Same Bad Argument

  The Washington Free Beacon reports that China may be backing away from its most controversial legal justification in the South China Sea: the “Nine-Dash Line.” Officials from the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs advanced a new legal theory at a closed-door meeting with U.S. State Department officials last month that would rely upon China’s […]

Why Trump’s ‘South China Sea card’ is unlikely to work this time

  An online feud between US President Donald Trump and NBA superstars Stephen Curry and LeBron James may have grabbed some headlines around the world, but what the international community is truly concerned about right now is whether Trump’s recently renewed feud with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un would eventually escalate into a war.   […]

Australia Positioning to Help US Check China’s Maritime Expansion

  TAIPEI, TAIWAN — Australia, concerned about its vast regional trade network, is joining Japan, India and the United States in countering Chinese expansion in Asia’s biggest maritime dispute.   Six Australian warships were moving toward the South China Sea this week, with no publicized destination, for military exercises. Australian media has called the mission […]

Beijing Adopts New Tactic for S. China Sea Claims ‘Four Sha’ island groups replace illegal 9-Dash Line

  The Chinese government recently unveiled a new legal tactic to promote Beijing’s aggressive claim to own most of the strategic South China Sea. The new narrative that critics are calling “lawfare,” or legal warfare, involves a shift from China’s so-called “9-Dash Line” ownership covering most of the sea. The new lawfare narrative is called […]

Conserving Southeast Asia’s seas

The United Nations’ call to conserve and sustainably develop the oceans perhaps resonates most with Southeast Asia than in any other part of the world. With a maritime territory thrice the size of its landmass, the region is among the world’s most bountiful and diverse maritime areas. The 10 Asean states account for a quarter […]

Indonesia & China: The Sea Between

  Indonesia has long been cautious in confronting China’s claims in the South China Sea, so its announcement on July 14 that it was renaming a part of the area the “North Natuna Sea” may have come to many as surprise. The new name encompasses a region north of the Natuna islands that partly falls […]

Is There Any Way to Counter China’s Gray Zone Tactics in the South China Sea?

China and India’s moves to de-escalate tensions over the Doklam standoff inspired commentary about how Beijing’s coercive strategies can be countered. Some may argue that after all, India can be deemed a peer competitor to China in terms of relative power, especially militarily. Both countries are nuclear-weapon states and if push ever comes to shove […]