ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mark J. Valencia:
By Mark J. Valencia - 29 Aug 2019
In the contest for soft power dominance in Southeast Asia, China has been gaining ground on the US. However, its recent actions are eroding these gains and playing into the hands of China’s enemies like anti-China hawks and media in the US and the region.
By Mark J. Valencia - 27 Aug 2019
By Mark J. Valencia - 29 Jul 2019
Philippines Associate Supreme Court Justice Antonio Carpio has responded to Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte’s challenge to him to suggest practical approaches to enforce the Philippines’ South China Sea arbitration victory against China.
On June 9, 2019, there was a collision between two fishing boats in the Philippines’ Exclusive Economic Zone, one a China-flagged vessel and one a Philippines-flagged fishing boat. The incident elicited wild accusations and demands for precipitous retaliatory action.
The US is proposing a “coalition of the willing” to protect “freedom of navigation” in the Strait of Hormuz. This cooperative protection might take the form of maritime and air surveillance, a “picket line of ships” or military escorts for tankers.
There is no universal agreement on the interpretation of key provisions in the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. Indeed, important differences are emerging between Southeast Asian nations and the US regarding the theory and enforcement of freedom of navigation.
This year’s Shangri-La Dialogue was anticipated to display a region-shaking US-China clash or compromise. Indeed, several analysts predicted “fireworks”. But what actually transpired was “not a bang but an anti-climactic whimper”.
Three US Senators have reintroduced the South China Sea and East China Sea Sanctions Act. Its purpose is to “impose sanctions against Chinese entities that participate in Beijing’s attempts to assert its expansive maritime and territorial claims in these disputed regions.”
In the early 2000s, when I accepted an invitation to speak at one of the very first of what has since become a very prestigious annual event, The Boao Forum for Asia — I had no idea I might wind up playing a minor role in what became the great giant clam controversy.