Category: Issue Briefings (Page 1 of 2)

Territory and Conflict: Island Disputes vs. Continental Disputes

Issue Briefings 17 • 2017 • By Philip Streich

Territorial disputes are the most frequently cited cause of wars in history, but do states fight as frequently over islands? This article shows that island disputes are less likely to escalate into deadly conflict.

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Taiping Island’s Legal Status: Questions Remain in the Aftermath of the Award

Issue Briefings 16 • 2016 • By Serafettin Yilmaz and Tsung-Han Tai

Far from making progress towards a South China Sea dispute settlement, the Award in the Philippines v. China arbitration case has all but ensured that debate will continue. In particular, the Tribunal’s controversial conclusions regarding Itu Aba (Taiping) Island’s legal status may have already reduced the effectiveness and perceived validity of the Award.

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Time to Revive the Joint Marine Seismic Undertaking in the South China Sea?

Issue Briefings 15 • 2016 • By Carlos Santamaria

A decade ago, China and the Philippines demonstrated that they had the resolve to cooperate on joint exploration projects, but nationalist outcry in the Philippines derailed these efforts. Now that the Philippines v. China arbitration case has concluded, reviving the Joint Marine Seismic Undertaking (JMSU) or a similar program may once again offer a win-win solution.

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US Warships in the South China Sea: A Prelude to War?

Issue Briefings 14 •  2016 • By Mark Valencia

As the US Navy increases its presence in the South China Sea in an attempt to maintain US primacy in Asia, it risks provoking a military clash with China. If regional stability is to be maintained, the US will need to rethink its strategy and seek a compromise.

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Keeping Balance: Taiwan’s Answer to Tensions in the South China Sea

Issue Briefings 13 • 2016 • By Li-chung Yuan

In the face of mounting challenges in the South China Sea, Taiwan must carefully consider its options and respond accordingly in order to defend sovereignty over its occupied features and maintain a role of peacemaker in the region.

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Lingering Questions about the Philippines v. China Arbitration Case

Issue Briefings 12 • 2015 • By Serafettin Yilmaz

As the arbitration case initiated by the Philippines against China moves forward, new questions regarding jurisdiction and impartiality have arisen.

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A Survey of Western Sources in Vietnam’s South China Sea Narrative

Issue Briefings 11 • 2015 • By Alex Calvo

Like other South China Sea claimants, Vietnam deploys a range of arguments to support its narrative, including the invocation of historical documents, many of which are Western in origin. Hanoi has argued that such documents are particularly relevant because they come from non-claimant states, yet as with most historical sources, they are subject to interpretation.

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Russia’s South China Sea Approach and Search for Strategic Autonomy

Issue Briefings 10 • 2015 • By Alex Calvo

The publicity surrounding Sino-Russian relations and the Ukrainian crisis have often overshadowed Moscow’s continued policy of cooperation with other East Asian countries in line with its goals of avoiding excessive dependence on China and becoming a major Pacific power.

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Let’s Get Real about the South China Sea “Status Quo”

Issue Briefings 9 • 2015 • By Jonathan Spangler

In discussions of the South China Sea disputes, the term “status quo” gets tossed around like a tugboat in a typhoon, but few leaders or analysts take a step back to consider what they are really talking about.

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Island Development and Reclamation: A Comparative Study of the Activities of China, Vietnam, and the Philippines

Issue Briefings 8 • 2015 • By Serafettin Yilmaz

Beijing’s land reclamation and buildup activity has been the target of much criticism, but most analyses fail to take into account the greater historical context and inherent differences in national capabilities.

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