Tag: Vietnam

South China Sea Lawfare: Post-Arbitration Policy Options and Future Prospects

Report • 2017 • Edited by Fu-Kuo Liu, Keyuan Zou, Shicun Wu, and Jonathan Spangler

Download the report: South China Sea Lawfare (2017)

On July 12, 2016, the Tribunal in the South China Sea arbitration case issued its Award, officially bringing closure to the arbitral proceedings initiated by the Philippines against China in early 2013. In the Award, the Tribunal’s conclusions overwhelmingly supported the Philippines’ positions regarding almost all of the fifteen submissions in its Memorial. The Tribunal also rejected or opted not to take into account the vast majority of China’s positions as elaborated through official statements and was similarly not persuaded by arguments issued or evidence presented by Taiwan.

The Award, especially due to relevant countries’ policy responses and the enduring controversy over its content, has significant implications for the South China Sea maritime territorial disputes, which remain one of the most potent and complex issues affecting stability and security in the Asia-Pacific region and beyond. In the post-arbitration context, rival claimants and major stakeholders have been forced to recalibrate their rhetoric, strategies, and policies in order to safeguard their interests and rights in the maritime area while maintaining an image internationally that is conducive to achieving these aims.

This report, entitled South China Sea Lawfare: Post-Arbitration Policy Options and Future Prospects, builds upon the success of the first South China Sea Lawfare report that was published in early 2016. By bringing together an international team of experts writing on the different approaches of each claimant and stakeholder, it aims to serve as a more inclusive reference on post-arbitration South China Sea policy issues than the many other analyses published in the aftermath of the Award.

In Part I: Introduction, the report begins by giving a brief overview of the arbitral proceedings in historical perspective and summarizing the legal positions of the parties involved and the Tribunal’s conclusions as described in its two awards. In Part II: Rival Claimants and Part III: Major Stakeholders, the chapters focus on (1) the specific policy approaches of each country or actor; (2) the implications of the Award for each; (3) the legal, diplomatic, and security policy options available to them; and (4) their future prospects in the post-arbitration context of the South China Sea. In Part IV: Conclusion, the report explores the implications of the Award for international maritime law and the future of maritime territorial disputes. By encouraging and compiling a diversity of views on the South China Sea, the editors hope that this report will serve over the coming years as a resource for policymakers, a foundation for future research, and an example of constructive international collaboration in the midst of the disputes.

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Interview with James Borton: Vietnamese Environmental Nationalism and the Campaign to “Save the East Sea”

Perspectives 8 • 2016 • By Jonathan Spangler and James Borton

The South China Sea Think Tank interviews James Borton about his experiences in the Chàm Islands, the emerging environmental awareness there, and the campaign to inspire Vietnamese youth to become more involved in national environmental issues.

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South China Sea Lawfare: Legal Perspectives and International Responses to the Philippines v. China Arbitration Case

Report • 2016 • Edited by Fu-Kuo Liu and Jonathan Spangler

As tensions in the South China Sea have risen, the Philippines v. China arbitration case and the Philippines’ decision, after many years of unsuccessful bilateral negotiations, to engage in lawfare have become a focal point of the maritime territorial disputes, leading many state and non-state actors to become increasingly involved in and vocal about South China Sea issues. The controversial nature of the issue has resulted in a proliferation of heated diplomatic and military interactions and, in many instances, hindered meaningful cooperation between relevant stakeholders. This report, as the result of a collaborative effort between authors from ten countries, aims to serve as an example of constructive international cooperation on South China Sea issues in the midst of heightened regional tensions.

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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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Expert Views: Implications of the Permanent Court of Arbitration’s Award on Jurisdiction and Admissibility

Perspectives 3 • 2015 • By SCSTT Editorial Team

Experts offer their reactions to the Permanent Court of Arbitration’s “Award on Jurisdiction and Admissibility” in the Philippines vs. China arbitration case.

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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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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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Interview with James Borton: “Science Diplomacy” as a Solution to the South China Sea Disputes?

Perspectives 1 • 2015 • By Jonathan Spangler and James Borton

The South China Sea Think Tank interviews James Borton about “science diplomacy,” prospects for international cooperation on environmental issues, and Taiwan’s role in the South China Sea.

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Claimant and Non-Claimant Views on SLOCs and Freedom of Navigation

Issue Briefings 7 • 2015 • By Jonathan Spangler

Freedom of navigation concerns both South China Sea claimants and non-claimant stakeholders, yet the latter in particular have taken it up as their primary justification for involvement in the disputes.

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