Taiwan and the South China Sea: More steps in the right direction


Since then, Taiwan, one of the six claimants in the South China Sea dispute along with China, the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia and Brunei, has moved to take additional positive steps, most notably, officially launching a South China Sea Peace Initiative. In a climate where much of the news on the South China Sea has been negative and where the focus has largely been on deterrence, positive actions warrant highlighting. If the goal is a more stable and peaceful region, rewarding positive behavior is at least as important as deterring negative behavior.

In my report, I made various recommendations, namely, that Taiwan should:

  1. Continue clarifying that its claims accord with UNCLOS and international law without expressly eschewing the dashed or U-shaped line encompassing much of the South China Sea.
  2. Tread carefully on any public education on Taiwan’s claims to avoid unleashing nationalist sentiment, which would limit policy options.
  3. Continue promoting President Ma Ying-jeou’s plan for the East China Sea in the South China Sea.
  4. Push behind the scenes for participation in code of conduct negotiations and in cooperative activities involving all claimants.
  5. Provide evidence that Taiping Island is an “island” capable of sustaining human habitation or economic life under Article 121 of UNCLOS.



Read more: http://www.brookings.edu/research/opinions/2015/08/24-taiwan-south-china-sea-kuok