Regional tensions on display at Fifth Xiangshan Forum

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Last week’s Fifth Xiangshan Forum in Beijing demonstrated just how difficult it will be to resolve disputes in the South China Sea as long as key parties believe history must arbitrate the veracity of claims to sovereignty over contested islands.

Scholars, officials and military officers from all around Asia were present, including many from the claimant countries in territorial disputes in the South China Sea, such as Vietnam and the Philippines.

One of the strongest messages at the forum was how intensely most regional actors feel that there is a problem of deep strategic mistrust, and how important genuine communication and dialogue is in overcoming that mistrust. Yet these same actors were all firmly committed to their own positions and seemed to show little interest in accommodating the views of others. This is not particularly surprising at an event like this, but it does not bode well for achieving lasting peace and security.

 

Read more:

Last week’s Fifth Xiangshan Forum in Beijing demonstrated just how difficult it will be to resolve disputes in the South China Sea as long as key parties believe history must arbitrate the veracity of claims to sovereignty over contested islands.

Scholars, officials and military officers from all around Asia were present, including many from the claimant countries in territorial disputes in the South China Sea, such as Vietnam and the Philippines.

One of the strongest messages at the forum was how intensely most regional actors feel that there is a problem of deep strategic mistrust, and how important genuine communication and dialogue is in overcoming that mistrust. Yet these same actors were all firmly committed to their own positions and seemed to show little interest in accommodating the views of others. This is not particularly surprising at an event like this, but it does not bode well for achieving lasting peace and security.

 

Read more: http://www.lowyinterpreter.org/post/2014/11/27/Regional-tensions-on-display-Fifth-Xiangshan-Forum.aspx?COLLCC=2986564147&

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