UNCLOS

Asia’s Seas Roar Anew: U.S. Maritime Challenges in the Indo-Asia Pacific

  • by

Sea lanes are one of the Asia-Pacific’s six “geopolitical stakes” according to Walter McDougall’s magisterial Let the Sea Make a Noise: A History of the North Pacific from Magellan to MacArthur. His interpretative history argues that sea lanes tied together the contest for the region’s other five “great prizes”: the west coast of North America, Alaska, Hawaii, Manchuria, and eastern Siberia. With the possible exception of Chinese immigrants encroaching on eastern Siberia, sovereignty over these land features along the Asia-Pacific rim is unlikely to be contested again as it was on and off for roughly two centuries until 1945. However,… Read More »Asia’s Seas Roar Anew: U.S. Maritime Challenges in the Indo-Asia Pacific

Voices: The Philippines-China Arbitration Decision

  • by

Over the coming days, MAP will host a number of short expert commentaries assessing the merits award on fifteen claims the Philippines brought against China before an arbitration tribunal, as well as the implications of the award’s decisions for other disputes, in the South China Sea and elsewhere. Download the commentaries as a pdf here. July 27, 2016 Sumathy Permal, Senior Researcher at the Maritime Institute of Malaysia, provides these thoughts: “The Philippines case against China is an effort provided for under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), which allows parties to institute compulsory dispute resolution procedures… Read More »Voices: The Philippines-China Arbitration Decision

Vietnam Benefits from the South China Sea Arbitration

  • by

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. The disputes in the South China Sea concern two sets of issues. The tribunal did not have legal competence to decide the first set, which covers questions of ownership over the islands that dot the seascape. These include the Paracel Islands, occupied by China, but claimed by Vietnam, as well as the Spratly Islands that were the subject of the arbitration.… Read More »Vietnam Benefits from the South China Sea Arbitration

Beyond the UUV Incident: Challenges in the South China Sea for the Trump Administration

  • by

The December 2016 incident involving a U.S. unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV) was neatly wrapped up on December 20 after China returned the vehicle. Despite diverging legal interpretations, the management of the event reflected the political willingness of both countries to keep the South China Sea dispute under control and in a careful balance so that the situation does not escalate into a military confrontation. However, whether this balancing act might continue in the Trump administration remains to be seen. The debate on the presence of the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) in the South China Sea might add to this uncertainty.… Read More »Beyond the UUV Incident: Challenges in the South China Sea for the Trump Administration

Taiwan’s Policy Evolution after the South China Sea Arbitration

  • by

On July 12, 2016, an arbitral panel constituted under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) delivered its merits and award in the case brought by the Philippines against China over disputed territory in the South China Sea. In response to the decision, Taiwan’s government stated, “We absolutely will not accept the tribunal’s decision and we maintain that the ruling is not legally binding on the ROC [Republic of China].” Despite this initial rejection of the ruling, President Tsai Ing-wen approved a new South China Sea policy that does not directly challenge the arbitration decision. This… Read More »Taiwan’s Policy Evolution after the South China Sea Arbitration