South China Sea

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. Political Realities of the East China Sea Conflict. The Diplomat

The already tense atmosphere in the East China Sea ratcheted up a notch this past week when China declared a new air defense identification zone. The United States’ flight of a pair of B-52 bombers through that zone on Monday further highlighted the potential for conflict in the contested area. 

Jerome A. Cohen and Jon M. Van Dyke. China's Claim to the South China Sea. SCMP (South China Morning Post)

Of the many signs of China’s increasingly assertive foreign policy, none has troubled its neighbors — and the United States –more than its claim to some form of jurisdiction over much of the South China Sea. Yet the People’s Republic has never explained exactly what it is claiming or why regarding these strategically important waters so rich in mineral, fishery and other resources.

Jerome A. Cohen. A Wiser Course. China Times

By April 1972, as the United States prepared to return to Japanese administration the eight uninhabited islets known as the Senkakus in Japan and the Diaoyus in China, the Sino-Japanese dispute over their ownership had reached fever pitch. Nationalism was in full flight not only in Japan, but also in mainland China, Taiwan and Hong Kong. 

Margaret K. Lewis. Political Realities of the East China Sea Conflict. The Diplomat

The already tense atmosphere in the East China Sea ratcheted up a notch this past week when China declared a new air defense identification zone.The United States’ fight of a pari of B-52 bombers through that zone on Monday further highlighted the potential for conflict in the contested area. The legal issues involved in the use of the sea, are intellectually intriguing for an academic who studies international law. The political realities of this increasingly tough neighborhood, however, are frightening.

Jerome A. Cohen. How Dangerous Are Sino-Japanese Tensions? ChinaFile

Sino-Japanese relations do not look promising at the moment. Obviously, the Diaoyu-Senkaku dispute is not the only factor in play but it does focus nationalist passions on both sides. Yet both countries are capable of wiser conduct if their leaders can manage to rise above the dangerous temptations to beat military drums.

Jerome A. Cohen. Mutual Respect for International Laws can Keep the Peace between China and the US. SCMP (South China Morning Post)

Although China’s increasingly “assertive” international conduct has naturally stirred widespread concern in both Asia and the US, especially regarding the South China Sea, an overview of Beijing’s foreign policy suggests a less alarming perspective. In some major subjects, such as environmental pollution and climate change, there are good prospects for Beijing’s cooperation with the United States and other nations.