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Analysis

The Philippines' Biggest South China Sea Problem: It Has Almost No Navy

The biggest share of the Philippines’ naval combat power now rests in three hand-me-down U.S. Coast Guard Hamilton-class cutters with decades of service in hard conditions. Yes, this is actually an improvement.

On July 21, the Philippines officially took possession and commissioned its third ex-Hamilton class. Now designated as a frigate, the ship is the former USCGC Boutwell, renamed the BRP Andres Bonifacio after the Filipino revolutionary leader. [READ MORE]

Vietnam Benefits from the South China Sea Arbitration

SCSC - On 30 August 2016, the Maritimeawarenessproject covered an analysis piece titled “Vietnam benefits from the South China Sea arbitration” written by Prof. Kames Kraska of the U.S. Naval War College. We would like to introduce his paper as follows:

Although Vietnam did not intercede in the July 12 Philippines - China arbitration, nonetheless it now finds itself on the right side of the facts and the law in its disputes with China over maritime rights in the South China Sea.

India’s Response to the South China Sea Verdict

This was the first time that the entire basis of China’s “historical claims” (for example, the “nine-dash line”) was ruled to be invalid under international law by an international tribunal.

The ruling not only has important implications for countries with unresolved territorial disputes with China but also impinges on India’s relations with Japan, the United States, ASEAN countries, and the international order. [READ MORE]

China’s Failure in the South China Sea

By reiterating its policy of “no acceptance, no participation, no recognition, and no implementation,” China has painted itself into a difficult corner and diminished the chances of resolving the myriad maritime disputes—involving Vietnam, Brunei, Malaysia, Taiwan and now even Indonesia as well as the Philippines—in a peaceful manner.

What is more, by continuing to press its claims with such belligerence, Beijing also throws up a huge obstruction in the way of better U.S.-China relations. [READ MORE]

U.S. South China Sea policy after the ruling: Opportunities and challenges

Since the 1990s, the United States has been consistent in its general South China Sea approach that while it does not take a position on competing claims, it does have a view in how those claims are pressed and ultimately resolved.

This position is in line with the preservation of key U.S. interests in the South China Sea, which include: safeguarding international norms like the freedom of navigation and overflight; fostering regional peace and stability; and preserving the credibility of the United States in the eyes of its allies, partners, friends, and adversaries. [READ MORE]

What happens now in the South China Sea?

China’s reaction to the Permanent Court of Arbitration’s relatively harsh ruling against it on the South China Sea has been angry. The court upheld nearly all of the 15 points on which the Philippines approached the Court in 2013.

China boycotted the proceedings, questioning the Court’s jurisdiction and publicly claiming historic rights to the South China Sea and its resources. The Court rejected this claim, concluding ‘there was no legal basis for China to claim historical rights to resources’. [READ MORE]

The South China Sea Is Really a Fishery Dispute

Last week the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague ruled overwhelmingly in favor of the Philippines in its case against China’s South China Sea (SCS) claims.

The nearly 500 page ruling undercut Beijing’s claims to control all the land features and water inside China’s nine-dash line and concluded that the disputed land features are either rocks that generate small (12 nautical miles) territorial seas or low-tide elevations that convey no exclusive rights to exploit resources. [READ MORE]

It's Time to Ignore China's Nine-Dash Line

The “so called nine-dash line,” previously “the eleven-dash line” and also referred to as the “ten-dash line,” the “U-shaped line,” the “cow’s tongue” and the “ox’s tongue”: however one chooses to refer to China’s claims of some 80 to 90 percent of the South China Sea, the demarcation no longer holds water, following last week’s ruling issued by the arbitral tribunal at the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague.

The tribunal ruled China’s expansive claim under the nine-dash line had no legal basis, and that any claims must be made on the basis of maritime entitlements from land features.

My nationalism, and don’t you forget it

CHINA is smarting. A tribunal in The Hague ruled on July 12th that its claims to most of the South China Sea had no basis in international law.

In the days since, China’s government has shown no sign of wanting to dig itself out of a diplomatic hole—or any sign that it thinks it is in one. [READ MORE]

GOP minds are at sea — but not the right one

Neither the unanimous decision by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, nor China’s rejection of it, was surprising.

The timing of it was, however, as serendipitous as China’s rejection is ominous. Coming as Republican delegates convene on Lake Erie’s shore, the tribunal’s opinion about the South China Sea underscores the current frivolousness of U.S. politics, which is fixated on a fictitious wall that will never exist but silent about realities on and above the waters that now are the world’s most dangerous cockpit of national rivalries. [READ MORE]

Philippines Rejects Conditional Talks With China on South China Sea

The Philippines has turned down bilateral talks with China over the South China Sea dispute following Beijing’s insistence that Manila set aside a landmark tribunal ruling issued last week.

Ahead of the July 12 verdict issued by the arbitral tribunal, the country’s new president, Rodrigo Duterte, had been signaling a shift to a more conciliatory approach toward China, with his administration indicating that it was receptive to talks with Beijing. [READ MORE]

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