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Mark J. Valencia:
By Mark J. Valencia - 21 Nov 2019
The media have been replete with "revelations" regarding China's use of academia and academics to promote and support the government's political positions and actions in the South China Sea.
By Mark J. Valencia - 16 Sep 2019
By Mark J. Valencia - 29 Aug 2019
The recent passage of Chinese warships through the Sulu Sea generated an outburst of criticism by Philippine officials and pundits. Their passage was called “illegal”, “unfriendly” and a “deception”. The issue is more complex than these critics would have it.
The US is proposing Operation Sentinel to promote maritime stability, ensure safe passage, and de-escalate tensions in international waters throughout the Arabian Gulf, Strait of Hormuz, the Bab el-Mandeb Strait and the Gulf of Oman.
Philippines Associate Supreme Court Justice Antonio Carpio has responded to Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte’s challenge to him to suggest practical approaches to enforce the Philippines’ South China Sea arbitration victory against China.
On June 9, 2019, there was a collision between two fishing boats in the Philippines’ Exclusive Economic Zone, one a China-flagged vessel and one a Philippines-flagged fishing boat. The incident elicited wild accusations and demands for precipitous retaliatory action.
The US is proposing a “coalition of the willing” to protect “freedom of navigation” in the Strait of Hormuz. This cooperative protection might take the form of maritime and air surveillance, a “picket line of ships” or military escorts for tankers.
There is no universal agreement on the interpretation of key provisions in the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. Indeed, important differences are emerging between Southeast Asian nations and the US regarding the theory and enforcement of freedom of navigation.
This year’s Shangri-La Dialogue was anticipated to display a region-shaking US-China clash or compromise. Indeed, several analysts predicted “fireworks”. But what actually transpired was “not a bang but an anti-climactic whimper”.