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Vietnam Benefits from the South China Sea Arbitration

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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

Perspectives on the South China Sea Dispute in 2018

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In 2017, China strengthened its position in the South China Sea dispute in at least five ways. First, it expanded its construction activities on Fiery Cross, Subi, and Mischief Reefs in the Spratly Islands and on North, Tree, and Triton Islands in the Paracel Islands. Since 2014, China has added a total of 290,000 square meters, or 72 acres, of new landmass. The expansion of artificial islands has reinforced its overall ability to control the South China Sea—for example, by allowing for the deployment of fighter jets in the region. For this reason, Xi Jinping praised this achievement as a… Read More »Perspectives on the South China Sea Dispute in 2018