China

Jerome A. Cohen. The Wisdom of The Hague’s South China Sea Decision. Wall Street Journal

The July 12 arbitration award in the Philippines case against China under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (Unclos) isn’t only significant for East Asia and maritime law. It will also have implications for public international law and the peaceful settlement of international disputes generally.

Peter Dutton Interview. The Hague Rules Against Beijing in South China Sea Case. The Takeaway

At long last, the Philippines and China will have answers to their heated dispute over the South China Sea. A tribunal at the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, Netherlands, has issued a landmark ruling addressing the Philippines' accusations that China has interfered with the rich fishing region of the Scarborough Shoal.

Jerome A. Cohen. Like it or not, UNCLOS arbitration is legally binding for China. EAF (East Asian Forum)

International media have come to focus on Tuesday’s anticipated decision in the Philippines’ arbitration against China. Beijing’s recent propaganda and diplomatic blitz has raised the prominence of the case to new heights. The dispute involves no fewer than 15 issues, many of them highly technical. Yet the basic issue in the case — whether the decision will be legally binding on China as well as the Philippines — is reasonably straightforward. Still there appears to be widespread misunderstanding surrounding it.

Jerome A. Cohen and Peter A. Dutton. Japan’s important sideshow to arbitration decision in the South China Sea. EAF (East Asian Forum)

While tensions continue to rise in the South China Sea and the disputing governments nervously await a decision in the Philippines’ arbitration case against China, an important sideshow has arisen between Japan and Taiwan in the central Philippine Sea regarding a Taiwanese fishing vessel. 

Margaret K. Lewis. A Review of China’s Record on Torture. University of Nottingham Blog

Chinese President Xi Jinping stated that “China has made enormous progress in human rights. That’s a fact recognized by all the people of the world.” The statement is true when viewed against the abuses committed under Mao Zedong. Yet the 2015 UN report on China’s compliance with the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment presents a bleak view of the realities in China today.

Jerome A. Cohen. Neither "Green" Nor "Blue". SCMP (South China Morning Post)

In three years of publishing a bi-weekly column in the South China Morning Post and in Taiwan's Chinese language China Times, many topics and issues have been raised. In the course of such writing, criticisms of said writing have also been raised. Yet, I reminan that I am neither "green" nor "blue."

Jerome A. Cohen. Why the elections in Taiwan matter so much – for Beijing, the region and the US. SCMP (South China Morning Post)

The anticipated turnout for Saturday’s presidential and legislative elections in Taiwan will be relatively modest compared with its great importance in so many respects. A major question, of course, is whether – if the Democratic Progressive Party’s candidate Tsai Ing-wen wins – her administration can manage a smooth transition to the next stage of Taiwan’s relations with mainland China

Jerome A. Cohen. China's Legal Blindness. Asian Wall Street Journal

Blind legal activist Chen Guangcheng served 51 months in prison because of his efforts to defend women against forced sterilization by the government. But since completing his prison sentence, he has been imprisoned in his home and abused by police for more than a year now. What's new is that despite strict censorship, the plight of Mr. Chen and his family is attracting attention within China, and sympathizers are traveling from around the country to visit him. 

Jerome A. Cohen. Conspiracy Speculations and the Chen Guangcheng Case. China Times

Sino-American relations have long been plagued by unsubstantiated conspiracy theories that undermine needed efforts to develop mutual trust between the world's two most important countries. The ongoing saga of the "barefoot lawyer" Chen Guangcheng presents Chinese and foreign observers with at least two new, related puzzles and corresponding conspiracy theories. 

Jerome A. Cohen. Will China's Next Leaders Take the Rule of Law Seriously? SCMP (South China Morning Post)

As China's Communist Party elite prepare to select the country's leadership for the coming decade, to what extent does concern for the rule of law affect their deliberations?  Will the successor to Zhou Yongkang, the Politburo Standing Committee member who controls the legal system, favor continuing lawless repression or seek to subject both Party and government to the law on the books that is often ignored in practice?

Jerome A. Cohen and Yu-Jie Chen. For Taiwanese, the mainland remains a dangerous place. SCMP (South China Morning Post)

Going to the Chinese mainland can be dangerous. First-time visitors are often surprised at their freedom, and seasoned travelers may feel comfortable, but foreigners in China do get detained by police for many reasons. When commercial dealings sour business people of Chinese descent, including those from Taiwan and Hong Kong, are especially at risk.

Eva Pils. 'If Anything Happens…:’ Meeting the Now-detained Human Rights Lawyers. China Change

Meeting people who could be disappeared anytime is a bit unnerving. You keep wondering if this is the last time you’ll see them. You want to ask what you should do in case something bad happens, but you don’t want to distress them by asking too directly.