BienDong.Net

Is a rebuked China taking a timeout?

China suffered a significant setback this month in its bid for dominance in the South China Sea, and its leaders are following a familiar script after such reversals: They’re making angry statements but taking little action while they assess the situation.

The United States is playing a characteristic role in such a flare-up, too. Rather than crowing about victory, it’s trying to talk Chinese leaders off the ledge before they do something rash. [READ MORE]

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]

ASSESSING THE MILITARY SIGNIFICANCE OF THE SOUTH CHINA SEA LAND FEATURES

This article aims to provide a fair assessment of the military significance of the South China Sea land features. The term land feature is intentionally selected to avoid the trouble of arguing whether they are islands, reefs, shoals or rocks.

How these land features can be categorized into the terms shown above may possibly cause differences according to the international regimes governing maritime jurisdictions, but not the military significance of the land features alone. [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]

AFTER THE ARBITRATION: DOES NON-COMPLIANCE MATTER?

International law does not contain an enforcement mechanism comparable to those of domestic legal systems.

Two previous cases where states explicitly announced that they would not comply with the decision of a dispute settlement body are relevant to the Philippines v China arbitration. [READ MORE]

5 Things About Asean and the South China Sea Dispute

On July 12, an international arbitration tribunal at The Hague ruled that China’s so-called “nine-dash line,” a demarcation it uses to claim most of the South China Sea, had no legal basis under the U.N. Convention of the Law of the Sea, a treaty to which China and Southeast Asian nations are parties.

The ruling was a win for the Philippines, which instigated the case in 2013, but also for countries that claim usage rights extending 200 nautical miles from their shores into the sea, including Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam and Brunei. [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]

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