Here’s how the South China Sea ruling affects U.S. interests

On July 12, an International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) ruling dismissed much of China’s claim to the South China Sea. Since then, there has been a great deal of discussion on the legal ramifications, China’s response and public opinion.

But where does this ruling leave the U.S. alliance with the Philippines — the country that challenged China’s claims in the first place? [READ MORE]

New Photos Cast Doubt on China’s Vow Not to Militarize Disputed Islands

When President Xi Jinping of China visited President Obama at the White House last September, he startled many with reassuring words about his intentions for the Spratly Islands, a contested area where the Chinese government has been piling dredged sand and concrete atop reefs for the past few years and building housing and runways on them.

“China does not intend to pursue militarization,” Mr. Xi said, referring to the area as the Nansha Islands, a Chinese name for what most of the rest of the world calls the Spratlys in the South China Sea. [READ MORE]

South China Sea Verdict: Chinese Win Some, Lose Some

On July 12, 2016, the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) at The Hague announced the much-awaited verdict in the case on South China Sea.

As anticipated, the decision was in the favour of the Philippines and the PCA dismissed the Chinese sovereignty claims in a 501-page long ruling. [READ MORE]

Is China Driving Vietnam’s Military Modernization?

This February and April, the deployment of long range HQ-9 SAM’s (200km) and sixteen J-11Bs to Woody Island in the South China Sea has also evoked a diplomatic protest from Vietnam.

Today, Sino-Vietnamese relations are again hitting a low point, particularly due to the South China Sea dispute. Meanwhile, Vietnam’s external threat has always been China. [READ MORE]

US Foreign Policy in the Face of a 'Might Makes Right' China

At the time, I was on active military duty serving as Fleet Intelligence Watch Officer for the U.S. Navy’s Seventh Fleet aboard the flagship USS Blue Ridge, responsible for managing a team that provided the fleet commander with real-time situational awareness throughout Asia.

Those experiences—not least those weird sea creatures—offer several insights into U.S.-China relations, including the July international tribunal decision against Chinese actions in the South China Sea. [READ MORE]

How Vietnam has kept China at bay over thousands of years

I’m visiting a 77-year-old widow, Cao Ngoc Diep and her family at their ancestral temple-home.

Above one small shrine there’s a haunting photograph of the fallen soldier, Cao Minh Phi, killed in Nha Trang in 1968 by the Americans aged 28, leaving behind a sweet-faced widow and her four small children. [READ MORE]

The South China Sea Battle Isn’t Just in the Water

Last year the Hague’s own Permanent Court of Arbitration website went offline, subject to a similar attack by suspected Chinese hackers.

Cyberattacks across the world are now a political tool, and Vietnam is not unique (just see this list of attacks around the world from the first half of May), but what makes this situation worrying is the possibility that tensions in the region have been driving a serious increase in attacks it is not prepared to deal with. [READ MORE]

The driving force behind Beijing’s moves in the South China Sea

Russia’s move to join China for naval exercises next month in the disputed South China Sea is a defiant shot across the bow for Washington and Ottawa.

Beijing and Moscow, bonded by contempt for Western geopolitics, announced their military collaboration three weeks after an international tribunal rejected China’s claim to sovereignty over almost the entire South China Sea. [READ MORE]

Will Vietnam File a South China Sea Case Against China?

Will Vietnam follow the Philippines in legally challenging through international arbitration China’s claim to territories it contests in the South China Sea (SCS)?

Weeks after The Hague-based Permanent Court of Arbitration’s landmark ruling on July 12, an international law based decision that delegitimized most of China’s expansive claims in its controversial “nine-dash line” map for the maritime area, Vietnam’s Communist Party leaders are under rising political pressure to leverage the precedent to press its own claims over the contested Paracel archipelago.[READ MORE]

Beijing Needs the South China Sea to Stay on Top

The increasingly aggressive and militaristic behavior in the South China Sea by China is driven by the economic needs of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), which currently controls mainland China’s government.

While the world has looked in wonder at the economic revival of China since its economic reforms, enacted in the late 1970s, it has overlooked a serious flaw by the CCP in its failure to establish an independent judiciary that would adjudicate contract disputes.[READ MORE]

South China Sea: It's Not Just About the Rocks, It's Also About the Fish

The South China Sea remains politically roiled. It has been almost a month since the UN Tribunal’s announcement. Chinese rhetoric attacks both court and verdict, military demonstrations continue and ASEAN’s foreign ministers issued a decidedly equivocal statement following their meeting.

Secretary of State John Kerry’s request for a reference to the decision of the UN’s Permanent Court of Arbitration failed. [READ MORE]

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