Fisheries

Traditional Fishing Grounds and China’s Historic Rights Claims in the South China Sea

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In the past four months, three confrontations have occurred between China and Indonesia over the presence of Chinese fishing vessels in waters near Indonesia’s Natuna Islands. By compelling Jakarta to adopt a more active approach to defending its waters from Chinese encroachment, these incidents may transform the dynamics of the South China Sea disputes. Equally importantly, however, statements by China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) regarding these incidents provide clues about the content of China’s maritime claims in the South China Sea. Specifically, China appears to be moving toward justifying some of its claims in terms of historic rights, not… Read More »Traditional Fishing Grounds and China’s Historic Rights Claims in the South China Sea

Follow the Fish: Considering Options in the South China Sea

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Nearly four months after the landmark UNCLOS arbitration ruling in the case brought by the Philippines against China, President Rodrigo Duterte’s about-face in his approach to the Philippines’ bilateral disputes with China has dominated regional discussion. While this attention is entirely warranted, it has also meant undue neglect of other dimensions of the ruling and its regional effects. All the South China Sea disputes, including the bilateral one between the Philippines and China at the Scarborough Shoal, are importantly about regional fishing rights. President Duterte’s focus on regaining access to the traditional fishing grounds at Scarborough Shoal has highlighted that… Read More »Follow the Fish: Considering Options in the South China Sea

The Politics of Implementing the Korean Comprehensive Military Agreement in the Maritime Domain

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North and South Korean defense leaders set lofty goals for reducing tension in multiple arenas via the 2018 Agreement on the Implementation of the Historic Panmunjom Declaration in the Military Domain (also known as the Comprehensive Military Agreement, or CMA). The agreement included some specific steps in the maritime domain. Article 3 reaffirms general-level talks that took place in 2004 on the “prevention of accidental naval clashes in the West Sea,” which focused on control of naval and civilian vessels, the sharing of information to mitigate conflict at sea, and the elimination of propaganda activities along the Military Demarcation Line… Read More »The Politics of Implementing the Korean Comprehensive Military Agreement in the Maritime Domain