South China Sea conundrum: US and China’s differing views


Last Friday, The Straits Times ran a commentary by Mark Valencia titled “Separating fact from fiction in South China Sea conundrum”. Mr Valencia, a maritime policy specialist, is an adjunct senior scholar at the National Institute for South China Sea Studies in Haikou, China.

In the article, he highlighted several oft-repeated statements on the South China Sea dispute between China and rival claimants, and gave his take on whether they were accurate or exaggerated.

Today, we run a rejoinder from Robert Beckman, Director of the Centre for International Law at the National University of Singapore and head of the centre’s programme in ocean law and policy.

Mark Valencia’s recent comment titled “Separating fact from fiction in South China Sea conundrum” has provided much food for thought. However, I believe that some of his points on international law warrant a reply in order to help clarify the facts, as well as fictions in the South China Sea.

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