In the South China Sea, where China’s ambitious “nine-dash line” claim of sovereignty has been disputed by several other claimants, relations have in recent weeks turned remarkably chillier. Vietnam and the Philippines are facing the brunt of Beijing’s ire, and the potential for crisis and conflict is significant. Positions are hardening, willingness to compromise is low, and the fact that the Philippines is an ally of the United States raises the potential for a disastrous crisis and potential conflict between the U.S. and China. The clash between China and Vietnam has attracted more attention in recent days. Just a few… Read More »Could Tensions in the South China Sea Spark a War?
China’s Oil and Gas Realities The respective impacts of evolving oil and gas market realities on thinking in Beijing could be considered two sides of the same coin. Investments in both markets are driven by China’s desire to increase its sense of energy security and involve a complex network of regional and global ties that will inevitably lead the country to expand its geopolitical reach. Yet the particulars of oil and gas markets also affect China in very different ways. On the oil side, the rapid pace and enormous scale of China’s oil demand and import growth have been a… Read More »China’s Search for Oil and Gas Security: Prospects and Implications
This morning I would like to talk about the security strategies of the United States, Japan and China. US security strategy for the economic and political development of East Asia has been remarkably consistent and successful since 1945. In a strong position at the end of the Pacific War, the United States has maintained a military balance so that no regional aggressor would be emboldened to use force to change political boundaries. Twice the United States, with Japanese support, has gone to war in East Asia over what it considered military aggression on the Korean Peninsula and in Vietnam. It… Read More »Assertive Engagement: Defining a U.S.-Japan Security Strategy on China
China has been raising blood pressures for some time over its actions in the South China Sea. From its aggressive advocacy of territorial and jurisdictional claims to its expansive land reclamation activities, there are “serious questions about Chinese intentions,” says Adm. Harry Harris, Commander of United States Pacific Command. However, the attention given to events in the South China Sea may soon shift north, as China and Japan slowly ramp up pressure on each other in the East China Sea. Three recent developments have the potential to escalate tensions between these Asian powers—and due to its alliance commitments to Japan,… Read More »China-Japan Tensions Set to Flare over East China Sea
The Department of Defense recently released its Asia-Pacific Maritime Security Strategy. Because of rapid security changes in the maritime realm, the document is a welcome declaration, providing much greater clarity on Washington’s strategy in the region. While concentrating on the military elements of US policies and actions in the region, the paper is set in the large context of overall US strategy, and includes frequent references to the complementary actions of the Department of State and the Coast Guard. While not detracting from the strength of the document, there are a number of key areas receiving little-to-no mention, resulting in… Read More »Missed Opportunities in the Pentagon’s New Maritime Strategy
The January 2016 issue of Asia Policy, a peer-reviewed and policy-relevant academic journal published by The National Bureau of Asian Research, features a roundtable on non-claimant states’ perspectives and interests in the South China Sea disputes. Non-claimant Perspectives on the South China Sea Disputes Tiffany Ma, Michael Wills, Rory Medcalf, Abhijit Singh, Ristian Atriandi Supriyanto, Yoji Koda, Lee Jaehyon, Jane Chan, Alice D. Ba, Mathieu Duchâtel, and Thomas B. Fargo Raising the Stakes: The Interests of Non-claimant States in the South China Sea Disputes Tiffany Ma and Michael Wills Rules, Balance, and Lifelines: An Australian Perspective on the South China Sea Rory… Read More »Non-claimant Perspectives on the South China Sea Disputes
Admiral Dennis C. Blair is the Knott Professor of the Practice at the University of North Carolina. He previously served as Director of National Intelligence from January 2009 to May 2010. He led sixteen national intelligence agencies, administering a budget of $50 billion and providing integrated intelligence support to the president, Congress, and operations in the field. Prior to this appointment, he held the John M. Shalikashvili Chair in National Security Studies with the National Bureau of Asian Research (NBR) and served as Deputy Director of the Project for National Security Reform. Before retiring from the Navy in 2002, Admiral… Read More »ADM Dennis Blair, USN (Ret.)
The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), also called the Law of the Sea Convention or the Law of the Sea Treaty, is the international agreement that resulted from the third United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea, which took place between 1973 and 1982. UNCLOS defines the rights and responsibilities of nations with respect to their use of the world’s oceans, establishing guidelines for businesses, the environment, and the management of marine natural resources.
Resources/Assets Related to Claims The waters of the Natuna region are extremely rich in fish-stocks and the Indonesian Natuna Islands administration claims that the regional fisheries sector could produce 1.24 million tons of fish per year. These waters are regularly trawled by Indonesian as well as foreign fishing boats, which has led to a number of incidents over the years between Indonesian maritime patrols and foreign fishermen. In addition to the abundance of marine life, the Natuna region contains notable oil and natural gas reserves. At the edge of the EEZ generated by the Natuna Islands lies the East Natuna… Read More »Indonesia
Karolos J. Karnikis is Senior Vice President, Information Management and Technology, and he is responsible for NBR’s information security and technology infrastructure. In addition to these institutional responsibilities, Karolos also participates in NBR programs, including NBR’s Maritime Awareness Project (MAP), for which he serves as Technical Director. Karolos is a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), and he holds an MS in Information Resources Management (MSIRM) from Syracuse University and a BA from Whitman College.