On September 8, 2017, the South China Sea Think Tank hosted a Guest Lecture with Bill Hayton (@bill_hayton) on “The Modern Origins of China’s Claims in the South China Sea”. Hayton is an Associate Fellow at the Chatham House, a BBC journalist, and the author of The South China Sea: The Struggle for Power in Asia.

The event was attended by over 70 people, including local and international scholars, government and military officials, graduate students, and media. Supporting organizations included the Asia-Pacific Policy Research Association, Taiwan Center for Security Studies, Institute of Marine Affairs and Policy, and Institute of International Relations at National Chengchi University.

Opening remarks were given by Jonathan Spangler (@jsymmetry), Director of the South China Sea Think Tank, and Dr. Fu-Kuo Liu (劉復國), Executive Director of the Taiwan Center for Security Studies. Hayton’s lecture focused on how China’s claims emerged between 1909 and 1948 under different governments in response to the actions of other countries. He has also stressed that his findings are not the last word in writing the story of the South China Sea disputes.

During the roundtable following the lecture, Yann-huei Song (宋燕輝), a Research Fellow with the Institute of European and American Studies at Academia Sinica, and Dustin Kuan-Hsiung Wang (王冠雄), Secretary General of the Institute of Marine Affairs and Policy, offered their responses to Hayton’s remarks and contributed to an active dialogue among the speakers and audience members at the end of the session.

South China Sea Think Tank, along with our distinguished guests and institutional partners at the event, encourages active debate on the issue in line with its mission of promoting dialogue, research, and education. All are welcome to join the dialogue by submitting to Issue Briefings or making a proposal for one of our other publications.

For more information about the event, check out the following links: