According to the Philippines, the presence of about 275 Chinese vessels near Thitu between January and March 2019 violated its “sovereignty, sovereign rights, and jurisdiction”. It filed a diplomatic protest to this effect.
Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen is facing significant challenges to his legitimacy. He appears to be in a dilemma over how to deal with measures taken by the European Union to suspend the Kingdom’s preferential access to the EU Single Market.
China’s policy towards the Myitsone dam has seen several changes since Myanmar suspended the project in 2011. The NLD government pursued for compensation for reneging on the terms of the contract rather than resuming the project.
There is certainly no shortage of warmongering blaring from both China and the US regarding the South China Sea. Indeed, a recent public tit-for-tat illustrates both the danger of such public advocacy and of taking it seriously.
After China issued formal diplomatic protests to Quad members asking their intention, Australia withdrew from the Quad and meetings ceased. Indeed, the concept is more likely to go the way of the dodo than rise from its ashes like a phoenix.
Xenophobia in Cambodia is a serious issue which should not be ignored or taken lightly. One example was a violent riot against Thai embassy and Thai businesses in Phnom Penh in 2003. This incident was obviously motivated by anti-Thai sentiments among Cambodians.
A recent article in The National Interest posed the question “Are [US] Freedom of Navigation Operations in East Asia enough?” If FONOPs are to demonstrate non-acquiescence to what the US views as a violation of international law, they may be unnecessary.
The underlying cause of the South China Sea dispute between the US and China is about dominance in Asia-Pacific and maintenance of the current world order. One influential factor is the abundance of natural resources in the South China Sea.
A very distinguished unofficial “task force” of US-China experts has issued a rather alarming report regarding the China threat to US security overall and in the South China Sea in particular. The group suggests that the US pressures China to comply with “global norms”.
After the EU threatened to remove its preferential trade deal in response to Phnom Penh’s perceived lack of commitment to improve its democracy and human rights situation, the country now faces a dilemma.