Continuing clashes between Chinese fishing vessels and the Korean Coast Guard should be of concern to all countries in the region due to the complex problems they pose.
AMTI Director Gregory Poling talks to Paul Reichler, partner at Foley Hoag and lead counsel for the Philippines in its arbitration case against China.
The Hague’s Permanent Court of Arbitration ruled in favor of the Philippines, citing multiple Chinese violations of international law.
With rapid expansion of China’s power, the region needs to establish flexible mechanisms for collective maritime security cooperation.
U.S. ratification of the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea has bipartisan support, but it could lead to the loss of 200 exclusive economic zones
To what extent does the law of the sea influence PRC decisions about maritime policy? If there is any influence, does it on balance play a constraining or enabling role in Beijing’s decisionmaking in this domain? This brief, mostly conceptual article argues that the enabling effects are more significant. For Beijing, UNCLOS III functions to […]
The Philippines has been widely applauded for bringing the first ever arbitration case relating to the South China Sea disputes before an UNCLOS Arbitration Tribunal, but it still needs to clear the three hurdles of jurisdiction, admissibility and merit. In other words, Manila needs to prove that its case falls within the Tribunal’s jurisdiction, that […]
Long-standing disagreements concerning territorial sovereignty over the Spratly Islands lie at the core of the PRC’s maritime disputes in the South China Sea. The Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia, Vietnam, and Taiwan each claim sovereign title to some or all of the hundreds of features clustered in that vital waterway. Among the reasons for the recent intensity […]
The Annex VII arbitral tribunal heard oral arguments from the Philippines last week on the issues of jurisdiction and admissibility of claims in the case it launched against China. Despite high hopes placed on Manila’s cause, these issues remain the most formidable legal obstacles to be surmounted. While the Philippine Memorial has not been made […]
We have all heard about land reclamation by the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in the South China Sea, particularly the southeastern region known as the Spratly Group. But much less is being said about what the Permanent Court of Arbitration just finished considering for the past week: are artificial islands really islands? According to […]
On December 8, 2014, the Chinese Embassy in the Netherlands deposited with the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA), the Registry for the South China Sea arbitral proceedings, a Note Verbale. The PCA was asked to forward the Position Paper of the Government of the People’s Republic of China on the Matters of Jurisdiction in the […]
The Hague hearing on jurisdiction and admissibility of the South China Sea arbitration case has come to an end on July 13 after a weeklong process without China’s participation. The hearing has become a heated headline for medias, governments, and scholars for the past week. Questions include whether the Arbitral Tribunal will issue a decision […]
In 2002, ASEAN and China signed the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) that promised to “enhance favourable conditions for a peaceful and durable solution of differences and disputes among countries concerned.” Unfortunately, thirteen years on, the claimant countries are no closer to a solution for any of the […]
Q1: What has China announced about its land reclamation activities in the Spratly Islands? A1: On June 16, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang announced that “as planned, the land reclamation project of China’s construction on some stationed islands and reefs of the Nansha (Spratly) Islands will be completed in the upcoming days.” He noted […]
In the first paragraph of his recent AMTI article, Zheng Zhihua essentially conflates two issues–questions of sovereignty over islands and questions of jurisdiction over resources and the boundaries delimiting them–when he says: A few international observers also accuse China of deliberately obscuring its territorial claims in the South China Sea by using terms not found […]
Within the short span of a year, China’s rapid construction of artificial islands in the disputed Spratlys has radically changed the geographical and security landscapes in the South China Sea. This island construction has so far created over eight million square metres of real estate in the open sea, outstripping other countries’ reclamation activities by […]
There are lots of criticisms that China’s claims in the South China Sea are ambiguous. For example, it has been criticized for “failing to honor” the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea despite being a signatory to it, as well as for “violating” other international laws on the sea. China has never […]
By various accounts, policy is firming up in Australia on what to do about the South China Sea – specifically, whether Canberra should take an unambiguous stand on the destabilising impact of China’s island-building activities. Australian policymakers are not fooled by the surface calm with which discussions concluded at the recent Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore. […]
In its Memorial and supplemental information submitted to the arbitral tribunal in The Republic of the Philippines v. The People’s Republic of China, the Philippines argues that all features in the Spratly archipelago are incapable of sustaining human habitation or economic life of their own. Even the largest feature in the Spratlys – Taiping Island […]
China’s reclamation blitz in the Spratly Islands continues unabated, despite condemnation from fellow claimants and outside nations. Chinese dredging ships have been hard at work expanding at least seven features: Cuarteron, Gaven, Hughes, Fiery Cross, Johnson South, Mischief, and Subi reefs. Their work will be largely complete in a matter of months, presenting the region […]
With revelations of China’s systematic and rapid reclamation or “island-building” of various features throughout the South China Sea, long-simmering dispute in the South China Sea seem closer to boiling over. Terriclaims, short for territorial reclamation, is a term that is useful for describing a nation’s reclamation activities when it seeks to preserve or expand territory […]
As China continues its reclamation activities in the South China Sea, there is speculation that it will use the new land masses to justify its international legal claims. One critical question will be whether it claims an Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) for each of the features being developed. Given China’s interpretation of the rights of […]
Much has been written and reported on China’s recent land reclamation and mass construction activities in the Paracel and Spratly Islands, which raise alarm about Chinese plans to alter the status quo in the South China Sea. Of course, Chinese and even Taiwanese officials and scholars have put forward complaints that it is unfair to […]
Introduction The arbitration case launched by the Philippines against China currently stands as the most significant, and most closely watched, development for specialists and observers of the maritime disputes in the South China Sea (SCS). To help observers navigate through this foggy proceeding, this article attempts to provide a focused overview of the arbitration case […]
When it comes to the South China Sea, the year 2014 was a rollercoaster. With Manila’s arbitration efforts against Beijing gaining momentum, 2015 will present new challenges not only to Philippine-China bilateral relations, but also to the very credibility of international arbitration bodies under the aegis of the United Nations Convention on the Law of […]
The next stage in the Philippines’ closely-watched arbitration case against China’s maritime claims will come in March when Manila’s lawyers submit their answers to questions posed last month by the five judge panel overseeing the case. The Philippines has put together a clever case, one that seeks to skirt China’s exemptions to compulsory arbitration as […]
The 2012 Scarborough Shoal stand-off between the Philippines and China was the proverbial tipping point caused by China’s pattern of protracted, aggressive actions against the Philippines that began two years earlier. In mid-2010, the Philippine government had observed an increased Chinese naval presence and activities in the country’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), recorded reports of […]
One of the weakest military and economic powers in the region – the Philippines – took the strongest – China – to international court in 2013. The Philippines challenges China’s assertion of vast maritime claims over the South China Sea, pursuant to detailed rules and binding dispute resolution processes of the UN Convention of the […]
In 2013, the Philippines instituted arbitration proceedings in the Hague against China over disputed South China Sea maritime claims – and in doing so it challenged legally of China’s nine-dash line claims over much of that area. Both states are parties to the UN Convention of the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), which allows for […]