Why are things the way they are?’ That was the question Professor Peter Dutton, Director of the China Maritime Studies Institute at the U.S. Naval War College, posed to himself before embarking on legal studies at the College of William and Mary after serving in the Navy for a number of years. On Tuesday, September 17, USALI Co-Director Professor Jerome Cohen interviewed him on the evolving cases concerning disputes in the South and East China Seas.
After outlining the main positions of various countries involved, including China, Japan and the Philippines, Professor Dutton introduced theUnited Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) as an important document that defines maritime territories and nations’ rights and responsibilities with regard to their use, making the incisive point that one of the goals of the document was to prevent nations’ claims to fishery, oil, natural gas and hydrocarbon resources on the basis of “historical rights.” The conversation concluded with a lively Q&A session from an audience comprised of faculty and students at NYU Law.
Professor Dutton is Professor of Strategic Studies and Director of the China Maritime Studies Institute at the U.S. Naval War College. An expert on Law of the Sea issues, Professor Dutton is one of USALI’s main collaborators on dialogues pertaining to China, Japan, the Philippines, and Vietnam’s recent disputes over territorial sovereignty in the South and East China Seas.