Post 11
Politics,Hotspots,China
By Mark J. Valencia - 16 Jan 2017

Tillerson Goes Off Half-Cocked on China

On January 11, 2017, US President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for Secretary of State Rex Tillerson made several intemperate remarks. Most provocatively he said that China’s access to the features it has built up in the South China Sea is not going to be “allowed.”
Post 2
Security,Hotspots,China

By Mark J. Valencia - 10 Jan 2017

The US-China Underwater Drone Incident: Parsing the Legal Aspects

Post 3
Security,Hotspots,China

By Mark J. Valencia - 27 Dec 2016

The US-China Underwater Drone Incident: More Than Meets the Eye

Post 4
Security,Hotspots,China

The US Underwater Drone is not Entitled to Sovereign Immunity

The US asserted that the underwater drone seized by China enjoyed sovereign immunity. Its argument is legally flawed if one takes a closer look at the rules of sovereign immunity in the law of the sea and how the US navy applies the drone to its missions.
By Yan Yan - 27 Dec 2016 | 0 comments Read more...
Post 4
Politics,Hotspots,China

The Maritime Silk Road and South China Sea Disputes

Southeast Asian countries have two serious concerns which might increase distrust between China and ASEAN, and this may become a bottleneck of the MSR construction. One is about China’s nine-dash line, and the other is whether China is undermining ASEAN’s unity.
By Hong Zhao - 12 Dec 2016 | 0 comments Read more...
Post 4
Politics,Hotspots

Get China to Negotiate with SCS Neighbors: A Message to Trump

If China is not forced to the bargaining table, it is hard to see why it will pursue constructive solutions with its neighbors. Even though the South China Sea dispute is taking place many miles away, the outcome will have consequences for US global interests.  
Post 4
Security,Hotspots,China

The South China Sea Disputes: What’s Next?

China should take advantage of the favorable situation in the South China Sea region to maintain stability. China should also keep improving the situation by strengthening its relations with the US, the other claimant countries, and the ASEAN countries.
By Shicun Wu - 01 Dec 2016 | 0 comments Read more...
Post 4
Politics,Hotspots

Trump’s Victory and Future of US-Pakistan Relations

What does Trump’s victory mean for Pakistan? Will the coldness in US-Pakistan ties increase further or will they remain at their current level? More importantly, what are the benchmarks to evaluate Trump’s future policies?
By Abdul Basit - 28 Nov 2016 | 0 comments Read more...
Post 4
Security,Hotspots

US Military Presence in the Asia-Pacific

The US’ military deployments and activities in the Asia-Pacific region are important manifestations of its “rebalancing” strategy. Since President Barack Obama took office in 2009, the US global military strategy has been to shift its focus and priority toward the Asia-Pacific region.
Post 4
Politics,Hotspots,East Asia

What is Hong Kong’s Status?

During the swearing-in ceremony of new lawmakers at Hong Kong’s Legislative Council, two lawmakers referred to the former British colony as the “Hong Kong nation.” A pro-Beijing publication translated the word “nation” as “guo” in Chinese. “Guo” or “guojia” can be understood as nation, country, or state.
Post 4
Politics,Economy,Hotspots

Trumponomics: A Danger to Prosperity?

Will Donald Trump’s presidency pose a danger to the country’s prosperity? Or will it “make America great again” by doubling US economy’s annual growth to 3.5-4.0 percent?
By Ding Lu - 19 Nov 2016 | 0 comments Read more...
Post 4
Security,Hotspots

No Restraint: Judicial Activism in the South China Sea Ruling

Although the tribunal enjoyed ample latitude to carve out a constructive, mid-path interpretation of a critically important but ill-defined provision of maritime law, it chose to indulge in a tortuous train of legal thought that lacked basis in case law and produced a zero-sum outcome that overwhelmingly favored Manila.  
Post 4
Security,Hotspots,China

Trump and the South China Sea

“Make America Great Again” was Trump’s campaign slogan. This probably translates to a Reaganesque “peace through strength” approach. Implementing such a policy in Southeast Asia is likely to be accompanied by blusters, threats and shows of force and gunboat diplomacy.
Post 4
Security,Hotspots,Southeast Asia

New Dynamics in ASEAN’s Stance on South China Sea

The success of Duterte’s visits to Beijing and Tokyo has initiated new dynamics in ASEAN’s position on the South China Sea issue. The Philippines will assume the rotating chairmanship of ASEAN next year and its success in lowering tensions on the South China Sea issue will likely become the ASEAN stand.
Post 4
Security,Hotspots,China

Why the US-China Contest for the South China Sea Is So Dangerous

A debate between Kurt Campbell, the architect of the US pivot to Asia, and Australian strategic thinker Hugh White makes clear that the South China Sea has become the cockpit of US-China competition for domination of Asia. The outcome may determine whose principles, values and “order” will shape the future of Asia.
Post 4
Security,Hotspots,China

Elements of a South China Sea Deal: Saving Face and Making Money

Some US academics suggest that a US-China grand bargain to establish a balance of power is a precondition for peace in the South China Sea region. Or, will a legal deal establishing a joint development regime and disengagement from illegal maritime assertions solve most of the current problems?
Post 4
Politics,Hotspots,Southeast Asia

Conceit and Callowness: Causes of US-Philippines Contretemps

In recent weeks, US-Philippines relations have undergone a rough patch as President Duterte has sought to “rebalance” Philippine foreign policy and lessen its dependence on the US. The reaction of policy makers and analysts in the US has ranged from anger to handwringing to ignoring the significance and roots of the problem.
Post 4
Security,Hotspots,China

The South China Sea: After the Big Bang

It has now been nearly three months since the arbitral panel ruling against China’s claims to maritime space in the South China Sea. The decision has set in motion political and military adjustments. But none of them contribute to the resolution of the conflicting claims or to the contest between the US and China.
Post 4
Politics,Hotspots,East Asia

Hong Kong: Local Identity and Democratization

Hong Kong’s 2016 Legislative Council election witnessed the success of the localists, including the victory of five young candidates, who advocated the ideas of localism, democracy, and self-determination.  
By Echo Li - 26 Sep 2016 | 0 comments Read more...
Post 4
Politics,Hotspots,East Asia

Confronting HK Localism with a Unified Social Citizenship

Confronting localism and separatism, the Central and Hong Kong governments have to compete for the hearts and minds of Hong Kong residents who hold these “radical thoughts.”
By Zhuoyi Wen - 21 Sep 2016 | 0 comments Read more...
Post 4
Hotspots,China

Legal Defects of the South China Sea Ruling

Legal problems include whether the Philippines had fully communicated with China before initiating the arbitration, whether the tribunal had obeyed the legal principle of prudence, whether the ruling was fair and just, whether it was reasonable to declare that Taiping/Itu Aba Island is rock, etc.
Post 4
Security,Hotspots,East Asia

North Korea’s Nuclear Calculus

North Korea knows that the world is unfair, as all the five permanent members on the United Nations Security Council have nuclear weapons, while the rest of the world cannot. Or wait a minute, a few others can also have nuclear weapons. So why can’t North Korea have nukes?
By Dingli Shen - 14 Sep 2016 | 0 comments Read more...
Post 4
Politics,Hotspots,East Asia

Hong Kong’s 2016 LegCo Election: A Tectonic Shift in HK Politics?

Hong Kong’s Legislative Council Election was held on September 4, 2016, and there were many new and important political features and implications, suggesting that Hong Kong people would like to change the status-quo by having new political forces and young persons to monitor the government.
By Hak Yin Li - 06 Sep 2016 | 0 comments Read more...
Post 4
Hotspots,China

The Hague Ruling: Immediate Versus Longer Term Responses

China has apparently decided to play for the longer term, leveraging its strong position on the ground while refraining from raising tension by initiating construction on Scarborough Shoal or declaring an air defense identification zone in the South China Sea.
Post 4
Politics,Security,Hotspots

Asia’s Future: Become Another Middle East or Avoid South China Sea War

Since the announcement of the ruling, all concerned parties are still mulling their next moves. The actions they take will decide which direction Asia heads to: spiral into a Middle Eastern type of crisis, or avoid war and head towards peace and stability.
Post 4
Politics,Hotspots,East Asia

Hong Kong’s 2016 Legislative Council Election: Divisions in the Political Landscape

Hong Kong will hold its sixth Legislative Council Election on September 4. The behavior of some democrats, confrontations between the Executive Branch and the LegCo, the Umbrella Movement, violent mass demonstrations, and localism have contributed to increased divisions in Hong Kong politics.
By Hak Yin Li - 23 Aug 2016 | 0 comments Read more...
Post 4
Hotspots,China

The Hague Ruling: Implications for Maritime Claims and Boundaries in Asia

American allies like Japan have taken strong stands in support of the decision. But belatedly some are realizing that the decision has important potentially negative implications for their own maritime claims and disputes.
Post 4
Politics,Security,Hotspots

Chinese and Vietnamese Nationalism and the South China Sea

While hostilities resulting from territorial disputes driven by nationalism and history continue to overshadow the relationship between Vietnam and China, a military conflict is unlikely to occur, unless decision-makers consider the resulting economic, military and political disasters to be bearable.
By Wei Luo - 15 Aug 2016 | 0 comments Read more...
Post 4
Security,Hotspots,China

Is China Building a Maritime Militia?

There is no secret that all the South China Sea claimant parties view their fishermen as important defenders of their respective claims in the disputed waters of the South China Sea. Nonetheless, the securitized fishery discourse is overblown.  
Post 4
Security,Hotspots,East Asia

THAAD and the Fate of Sino-Korean Relations

South Korea is feeling the heat, not only from the heat waves of summer but also from the heated debates surrounding President Park Geun-hye’s July 8 announcement of the decision to deploy THAAD. The nation has been polarized between those saying “nay” and “aye.”
By Jaewoo Choo - 11 Aug 2016 | 0 comments Read more...
Post 4
Hotspots,China

The South China Sea Award: Paradox of the Historic Argument

International courts and tribunals tend to decline to deal with historic argument. The logic is that sovereignty is the most sacrosanct claim vested upon every nation state, which stipulates that it need not and should not be subordinated to any authorities claiming overlordship, in whatever manifestation, above them.
Post 4
Politics,Hotspots,China

Xi Jinping and China’s Future: A Debate

President Xi Jinping’s unyielding effort in the anti-corruption campaign has implicated 800,000 Chinese officials. How and when will he consider his mission to be accomplished? David Shambaugh and Zheng Yongnian had an in-depth exchange of views at a global forum on China in Singapore.
Post 4
Politics,Security,Hotspots

Brexit and the Future of Regionalism

The UK’s exit from the EU is a cautionary tale to other forms of regionalism. The US has dominated NATO, the North American Free Trade Area, and is also committed to constructing new types of regionalism such as the TPP and TTIP. Yet, it is questionable if this non-inclusive form of regionalism established will be sustainable.
Post 4
Politics,Security,Hotspots,China

Prospects and Challenges for China after the South China Sea Arbitration

Observers have argued that China did not fully appreciate the implications of not participating in the arbitration process. Not only did it give up its right to appoint the arbitrators, it also gave up its right to present its legal arguments and evidence to the tribunal and the international audience.
Post 4
Hotspots,China,Southeast Asia

The South China Sea Ruling: Akin to Opening Pandora’s Box

This essay is a preliminary analysis of the possible impacts the Permanent Court of Arbitration’s ruling on July 12, 2016 will have on the South China Sea situation, China-US relations and China’s relations with its neighbors.
By Shicun Wu - 15 Jul 2016 | 0 comments Read more...
Post 4
Politics,Economy,Hotspots,China

Respecting Brexit

With the referendum of June 23, 2016, Britain has decided to leave the EU. Though this is controversial, there is good reason to respect the outcome of this form of British democracy.
By Dingli Shen - 13 Jul 2016 | 0 comments Read more...
Post 4
Politics,Hotspots,China

China-US Dialogue on the South China Sea

Dai Bingguo’s address to the China-US Dialogue on the South China Sea Between Chinese and US Think Tanks on July 5, 2016, in Washington DC.
By Bingguo Dai - 06 Jul 2016 | 0 comments Read more...
Post 4
Politics,Hotspots

Brexit Vote: The Predicaments of Western Democracy

Today, Western democracy is trapped with its self-inflicted damage. Voting works if and only if voters understand what it is really about and the Brexit poll clearly demonstrated that the direction of fundamental policy choices could be out of the control of the people at large.
Post 4
Politics,Economy,Hotspots

Brexit and Asia: Rationality versus Emotion

The June 23 Brexit referendum saw the UK vote to leave the European Union. The exit decision shocked the world with implications not only in the political and economic arenas of the UK and EU, but which also has far reaching repercussions beyond Europe.
Post 4
Security,Hotspots,China

Can the US–China Strategic and Economic Dialogue Do Anything about the South China Sea?

Given Washington’s rather overheated rhetoric on the South China Sea, might future iterations of the SED achieve any breakthrough in this most volatile area of US–China strategic relations?
By Feng Zhang - 21 Jun 2016 | 0 comments Read more...
Post 4
Security,Hotspots,China,Southeast Asia

The South China Sea: China Won’t Accept Cursory Judgement of its Inherent Rights

The arbitration proceedings that the Philippines initiated against China more than three years ago regarding issues in the South China Sea should soon reach its end, and the arbitral tribunal is expected to rule shortly.
By Shicun Wu - 20 Jun 2016 | 0 comments Read more...
Post 4
Security,Hotspots,China

On Freedom of Navigation in the South China Sea

The fundamental guarantee of the freedom of navigation in the South China Sea is not the US or its military presence, but China, the coastal states, and regional countries’ commitment to peace, stability, prosperity, and development.
By Jian Zhou - 17 Jun 2016 | 0 comments Read more...
Post 4
Security,Hotspots,China

The Recent China-US Airplane Incident: More than Meets the Eye

According to the Pentagon, on May 17, 2016, two Chinese J-11 fighter jets intercepted a US Navy EP-3 intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance plane on a “routine patrol” in “international air space” about 100 nautical miles south of China’s mainland coast and 50 nm east of Hainan.
Post 4
Security,Hotspots,China

The South China Sea Dispute: Truth and Fiction

Three years after it was launched, the curtain is coming down on the Philippines’ South China Sea arbitration case. Now is the time to take a step back from all the hustle and bustle to see through the past few years’ misrepresentations and distractions and get a clear understanding of the South China Sea issue.
Post 4
Security,Hotspots,East Asia

East Asia and its Response to the “H” Test

Japan has common interests with China in stopping nuclear proliferation in Northeast Asia. The H-bomb test may then end up as a common rallying point that can bring Japan, China, and South Korea together facing a common threat.
By Tai Wei Lim - 26 May 2016 | 0 comments Read more...
Post 4
Security,Hotspots,China

The South China Sea: The Pots Are Calling the Kettle Black

China’s claims, policies and actions in the South China Sea have been severely criticized by other claimants as well as external maritime powers. The protagonists are stepping up their public relations campaigns to bolster their positions. Much of the rhetoric fits the allegory of the pot(s) calling the kettle black as China’s major critics have undertaken similar actions.
Post 4
Security,Hotspots,China

The South China Sea Dispute: Peering into the Crystal Ball

Is it all gloom and doom in the outlook of the SCS dispute as predicted by some observers? Will China’s engagements with other countries in the SCS escalate into open confrontation or even war?
Post 4
Security,Hotspots

Why the Arbitration Initiated by the Philippines Threatens Peace and Stability in the South China Sea?

The essence of the disputes between China and the Philippines in the South China Sea is the territorial disputes caused by the illegal occupation of China’s maritime features in the Nansha Islands by the Philippines in the 1970s in violation of the UN Charter.
By Yang Lu - 02 May 2016 | 0 comments Read more...
Post 4
Security,Hotspots

Why China Does Not Accept or Recognize the South China Sea Arbitration by the Philippines?

There has been a long-standing agreement between China and the Philippines on resolving their disputes in the South China Sea through friendly consultation and negotiation. From 1995 to 2011, there were at least 6 joint statements between the two countries repeatedly reaffirming negotiation as the means for settling their relevant disputes.
By Jianguo Xiao - 28 Apr 2016 | 0 comments Read more...
Post 4
Hotspots,Southeast Asia

Vietnam: A Member State that Could Safeguard ASEAN’s Fragile Unity?

The current regional political constellation — in particular the trend of concentrating on domestic politics at the expense of regional matters — partially explains the weakening commitment to ASEAN across Southeast Asia. This contributes to an expectation for countries with strong regional agendas, like Vietnam, to step up.
By Huong Le Thu - 10 Jul 2016 | 0 comments Read more...
Post 4
Hotspots,China,East Asia

How Should the Chinese Nation Tackle South China Sea Issues?

Taipei and Beijing should designate a maritime commons area within the U-shaped line, which is equivalent to “other sea area,” so as to pacify an assertive Washington and other maritime powers.
Post 4
Politics,Economy,Hotspots,China

How Concerned Should China Be about Brexit?

The loss of the “Remain” vote in the referendum puts into question the multibillion dollar Sino-UK cooperation agreements signed during Chinese President Xi Jinping’s state visit to the UK last year, in particular the Hinkley Point nuclear project.
Post 4
Politics,Security,Hotspots,China

Propaganda Wars over the South China Sea

China, the US and their respective supporters are engaged in a propaganda “war” regarding the South China Sea. China has launched a worldwide information campaign that justifies its position. Officials and analysts in the US have seemingly been dragged into the media “gutter” and become involved in a public information campaign of their own.
Post 4
Security,Hotspots,China,Southeast Asia

The Shangri-La Dialogue 2016 and the South China Sea

In his address to the 2016 Shangri-La Dialogue, US Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter outlined the US concept of a principled security network in the Asia-Pacific. The US sees China’s activities, especially in the South China Sea, as leading it towards raising a “Great Wall of self-isolation.”
Post 4
Politics,Hotspots,Southeast Asia

Obama’s Visit in Vietnam: Legacy and Trust-Building

It was in Hanoi that the US President Barack Obama announced a full annulment of the US arms embargo on Vietnam — a decision hailed as a symbolic milestone in the closure to the painful wartime past.  
By Huong Le Thu - 27 May 2016 | 0 comments Read more...
Post 4
Politics,Hotspots,Southeast Asia

The New Philippine Leadership and Prospects for Sino-Philippine Relations

A key event in Sino-Philippine relations that Duterte will inherit from the outgoing Aquino administration is the upcoming verdict in the arbitration case on the Sino-Philippine maritime dispute in the South China Sea.
Post 4
Security,Hotspots,Southeast Asia

Duterte and the South China Sea

Rodrigo Duterte won the 2016 presidential election in the Philippines with a convincing victory. Duterte’s Trump-like rhetoric has caused considerable anxiety among the country’s ASEAN neighbors with regards to the South China Sea impasse.
Post 4
Hotspots,China,East Asia

Taiwan’s South China Sea Claim: Entwined with Cross-Strait Relations

Taiwan’s future leaders should not see the South China Sea issue as distinct from China-Taiwan relations. It is the political status of the two governments that underlines Taiwan’s South China Sea contestations.
Post 4
Security,Hotspots,China

China, the US and the South China Sea: What’s Going On?

In the run-up to the Permanent Court of Arbitration’s decision regarding the Philippines/China dispute in the South China Sea, China has been “reclaiming,” building on and, the US charges, “militarizing” unoccupied, and in some cases, originally submerged features. The relatively muffled rhetoric on both sides have led to speculation as to what is going on behind the scenes.
Post 4
Security,Hotspots,China

The South China Sea: Historical Perspectives and Contemporary Reflections

This paper provides an overview of the chain of events contributing to the escalation of tensions in the South China Sea, as well as the context in which they occurred and potential connections they have. It is hoped this paper will help those concerned about the disputes see the bigger picture and get to the heart of why things have happened that way.
Post 4
Security,Hotspots,China

Why Is China Building New Islands in the South China Sea?

An often-heard explanation is that China is simply trying to catch up with Vietnam, Malaysia, and the Philippines by creating a strong physical presence in the South China Sea. However, if the purpose is simply to make a point about sovereignty, it is unclear why the building projects were executed with such speed and scale.  
By Feng Zhang - 07 May 2016 | 0 comments Read more...
Post 4
Hotspots,China

The Origins of China’s Island Construction in the South China Sea

Proposals for island construction in the Spratly Islands had been around for some time before Xi Jinping became president. Although the Hu Jintao leadership preferred not to act forcefully, the relevant bureaucracies were growing increasingly furious with what they saw as continued infringement of Chinese sovereign rights.
By Feng Zhang - 05 May 2016 | 0 comments Read more...
Post 4
Security,Hotspots,China

National Interests, International Law, and China’s Position on the South China Sea Disputes

China’s non-participation policy in the South China Sea arbitration case goes against its own national interests, as there are probably better ways to deal with the difficulties that China is facing in the South China Sea disputes.
By Jiangyu Wang - 06 Apr 2016 | 0 comments Read more...
Post 4
Security,Hotspots,China

America’s Strategic Misjudgment and Miscalculation in the South China Sea Issue

The US has misjudged China, its intention and its role. It based its judgement on its own historical experience as an expansionistic empire and its deeply rooted great power ideology, and not on China’s diplomatic performance in the region.  
Post 4
Security,Hotspots,China

The Dynamic Balance of Power in the South China Sea

The discussion and debate on the South China Sea dispute has fallen into a deadlock between two monological contexts, generally between Chinese commenters and their counterparts from the US and its allies.
Post 4
Security,Hotspots,East Asia

North Korea’s Nuclear Test and ROK-China Relations: A South Korean Perspective

The issue of the greatest concern is Xi Jinping’s attendance at the Nuclear Security Summit which will be held from March 31 to April 1 in Washington, DC, as well as the Obama-Xi meeting on that occasion.
By Sun-Jin Lee - 23 Mar 2016 | 0 comments Read more...
Post 4
Politics,Hotspots,China

China’s Rule of Law Dilemma

Less than one year after the party invoked the building of the “rule of law,” 317 human rights lawyers, activists and their family members in China since July 2015 have been reportedly detained and investigated.
Post 4
Security,Hotspots,East Asia

North Korea’s Nuclear and Missile Tests: Will it Unite or Divide Beijing and Washington?

More than a month has passed since North Korea’s January 6 nuclear test, but no sanctions have been adopted, due largely to the differences between China and the United States over the severity, scope, and the very purpose of punitive measures.
Post 4
Politics,Hotspots,China

Anti-Corruption Campaign: China’s Political “New Normal”

After 30 years of gradual economic reform, the party-state’s partially marketized economy has become a hotbed for more high-stake and high-level corruption cases.
By Gang Chen - 11 Mar 2016 | 0 comments Read more...
Post 4
Security,Hotspots,China

Freedom of Navigation in the South China Sea: A Modus Vivendi between the US and China?

The US intended to carry out its self-styled military-diplomatic policy of “freedom of navigations operations” to challenge what it perceived as China’s “excessive maritime claims.”
By Feng Zhang - 10 Mar 2016 | 0 comments Read more...
Post 4
Security,Hotspots,East Asia

What North Korea Tells Us About the International System

The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is the quintessential “rogue state”, but one that the so-called “international community” has proved incapable of influencing.
By Mark Beeson - 01 Mar 2016 | 0 comments Read more...
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