South China Sea
- Sourabh Gupta , Senior Fellow, Institute for China-America Studies
Feb 17 , 2017Mr. Tillerson’s betray a lack of understanding of the U.S. position on the sovereignty claims in the South China Sea. As a matter of policy, the U.S. takes no position - and hasn’t for decades - on these rival claims. If Mr. Tillerson has the chance to encounter Mr. Li on his next visit to Beijing, he might learn that the warships sent to recover the islands in 1946 were even provided by the United States.
- P. Elisabeth Smits , PhD candidate, Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), Johns Hopkins University
Feb 06 , 2017In January 2017, China released a document that helps interpret the policy goals of President Xi Jinping, particularly his speech in May 2014 where he promoted, “New Asian security concept for new progress in security cooperation.” The Trump administration should take note of three points in the new document: China’s country relations, the South China Sea, and the conspicuous absence of certain information, as each will have a critical role in U.S.-China relations.
- Richard Javad Heydarian , author of "Asia's New Battlefield: US, China, and the Struggle for Western Pacific"
Feb 06 , 2017Duterte, whom some have dubbed as the “Trump of the East”, made it clear that he feels a sense of personal affinity with the new American leader, whom he has described as a kindred spirit, a fellow strongman and anti-establishment populist. There are, of course, legitimate concerns about the possibility of things spiraling out of control if and when mercurial and larger-than-life figures like Duterte and Trump collide. For now, however, Manila is optimistic about a diplomatic reset with its oldest friend, America.
- Zhou Bo , Honorary Fellow, PLA Academy of Military Science
Jan 25 , 2017Like the confidence-building measures that have maintained peace and stability along the disputed China-India border, a code of conduct agreement with ASEAN will smooth relations and invite new cooperation — without regard to the Philippines’ improper and unilateral appeal for outside arbitration.
- Yao Yunzhu , Retired Major General, Chinese People’s Liberation Army
Jan 27 , 2017If a military blockade is implemented to deny China the access to the South China Sea islands it occupies, it means an invasion against Chinese territory, retired Chinese major general Yao Yunzhu argues.
- Jared McKinney , Non-resident Fellow, Pangoal Institution
Jan 05 , 2017Chinese sources have attempted to explain the seizure of a U.S. Unmanned Underwater Vehicle (UUV) with reference to maritime safety or protests over U.S. military reconnaissance in and around Chinese waters. China seized the drone to send a signal to President-elect Donald Trump that China wasn’t going to play around with any threats to the One China Principle, which Trump threatened by calling Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen. However, there is no need for abrupt action right now that alienates president-elect Trump and his advisors. China’s economic and global clout gives it the influence it needs to preserve its “core” interests in international society, and China’s true power doesn’t derive from its ability to pull a U.S. UUV out of the water; it comes from its regional and global economic influence.
- Recent developments are highlighting how competition over shared water resources is a major contributory factor to the growing geopolitical discord in Asia. China’s “territorial grab” in the South China Sea has been accompanied by a quieter “freshwater grab” in transnational river basins. Reengineering trans-boundary water flows is integral to China’s strategy to employ power, control, influence, and fashion a strongly Sino-centric Asia. The upsurge of resource and territorial disputes has underscored the looming dangers. Various developments indeed are highlighting the linkage between water and peace.
- Steven Stashwick , independent writer and researcher
Dec 22 , 2016Given the apparently low intelligence value of the recently seized U.S. UUV, China may have intended the seizure primarily as a provocation or warning. Though the vessels involved held a low-risk of escalation, the legal precedent is more significant: last Thursday’s incident occurred approximately 50 nautical miles northwest of Subic Bay, nowhere near sensitive Chinese military facilities, and in waters that China has not claimed any jurisdiction over.
- Sajjad Ashraf , Adjunct Professor, National University of Singapore
Dec 14 , 2016President-elect Donald Trump’s announcement that the United States will quit the Trans-Pacific Partnership kills the stillborn deal. For the countries of Southeast Asia who joined this U.S. led pact, it is a moment of reflection over their policy choices, making them seek accommodation with a more certain China rather than a wavering U.S.
- Zheng Yu , Professor, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences
Dec 09 , 2016For a country with nearly 1.4 billion people and a high dependence on foreign trade, the security of sea-lanes in the Western Pacific is first of all a matter of life and death for China. Obviously any attempt to seek hegemony by controlling those sea-lanes will only lead to regional turbulence, which in turn will endanger the security of China’s own international transport routes.