Is the South China Sea just a bilateral issue?

Is the South China Sea just a bilateral issueChina has always asserted that the South China Sea issue is just a matter between China and the other disputant countries, and that it should be resolved only through direct negotiations between the parties concerned. China has even demanded that, whenever a conflict emerges, disputant countries should conduct "internal exchanges" only with China and refrain from "publicizing" it. Always standing opposed to the "multilateralization" and "internationalization" of the South China Sea issue, China has tried to prevent ASEAN and other regional and international forums from having substantive discussions or statements on this issue, pressurizing, threatening and even "punishing" countries which dared to "publicize" or "internationalize" the issue. As a result, some countries have been compelled to adopt a "tactic of silence" even when China had infringed upon their lawful sovereignty in the South China Sea. China, on its part, has used this to demonstrate that the South China Sea situation was "basically stable" and "under control", in an attempt to forestall and restrict international concern about the issue. In schools, such a behavior is usually called "bullying", but the South China Sea is not a classroom and nations are not primary school pupils.

European powers weigh wading into South China Sea

European powers weigh wading into South China SeaMajor European powers are weighing how to step up their presence in China’s adjacent waters, including the contested South China Sea, as tensions rachet up in what some see as the dawning of a new Cold War.

For European powers like Britain and France, the stakes are even higher as they adopt ever-tougher stances against China’s unilateral moves and naval assertiveness in the strategic maritime region.

Both European countries are permanent members of the United Nations Security Council and full-fledged nuclear powers with ‘blue water’ naval capabilities. They also have significant territorial possessions in a region with major trade and investment partners.

An Answer to Aggression

The Chinese Communist Party’s initial mismanagement of the COVID-19 pandemic and its subsequent attempts to exploit the crisis have produced enduring problems for the rest of the world. But the CCP’s behavior has also helped clarify the threat that China poses to the security, prosperity, and well-being of other countries. Public opinion polls show that over 60 percent of Americans of both political parties now hold a negative view of Beijing’s leadership and intentions, and similar attitudes can be found across the democratic world. This heightened awareness of a shared danger creates an opportunity for the United States and its allies to formulate a new and more effective strategy for dealing with China.

For the past four decades, Western democracies have hoped that engagement with China would cause its leaders to abandon any revisionist ambitions they might harbor and accept their country’s place as a “responsible stakeholder” in the U.S.-led international order. Expanding flows of trade and investment would, it was thought, also encourage Beijing to proceed down the path toward greater economic and political openness. The policy of engagement was not absurd on its face; it was a gamble rather than an outright blunder. But as has become increasingly obvious, the West’s wager has failed to pay off.

Difficulties in "diplomatic and legal processes" or the issue of "do-not-dispute sovereignty"

Difficulties in diplomatic and legal processes or the issue of donotdispute sovereigntySovereignty and territorial disputes have existed between many countries and in many parts of the world. Diplomatic and legal measures have always been considered appropriate for their peaceful settlement. However, in the case of the South China Sea, such processes have faced with numerous obstacles, mainly due to China’s position.

The best solution that should always be given priority is direct negotiation between the disputants. It is by this way that Vietnam and China have solved satisfactorily the problem of land border delimitation and issues concerning the Bac Bo (Tonkin) Gulf.

China creating a flashpoint in South China Sea

China creating a flashpoint in South China SeaChina’s foray into the controversial and disputed South China Sea is not a new phenomenon. It is part of Beijing’s long term strategy to bring a large area of land and sea into its sphere of influence. This is being done by China mainly to harness resources exclusively. More recently, China’s firing of medium range missiles into the South China Sea is a growing assertion, largely to reflect its sovereignty over disputed waters. Such action by China has attempted to demonstrate its strategic dominance and sovereignty over the whole of South China Sea.

China has also been engaging itself in military exercises over its territorial claims in the South China Sea. The growing frequency of exercises and the new types of capabilities displayed has demonstrated the progress China has achieved in its continuing military modernisation programme.

As US-China tensions rise, what is the outlook on the South China Sea dispute in 2020-21?

As US-China tensions rise what is the outlook on the South China Sea dispute in 202021Since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic in March, tensions in the South China Sea have surged. This is mainly the result of China’s continued assertiveness coupled with the sharp deterioration in US-China relations over a variety of issues including the South China Sea itself.

Actions undertaken by Beijing to assert its jurisdictional claims, and demonstrate that the pandemic has not undermined its political resolve or the operational readiness of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), have been counterproductive.

Vietnam’s Perceptions and Strategies toward China’s Belt and Road Initiative Expansion

Vietnams Perceptions and Strategies towardAbstract

China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) which was launched by Xi Jinping in 2013 seemingly draws a great picture of mutual development with a lot of promises in term of financial and technological supports to infrastructure development projects in a large number of countries. Such promises sound good to many countries including Vietnam, a developing country who is in its capital thirst. However, Vietnam’s reaction to this Initiative in particular and to China’s strategic intentions in general is not easy to understand. Vietnam’s perceptions on the BRI have varied across many different social spectra. Based on those common understandings, Vietnam’s strategies toward China and its BRI are a mixture of seemingly contradictory policies which show either their supports (bandwagonig strategy) or denials (balancing strategy) or both simultaneously. However, it is in fact hedging strategy which is a flexible combination of both bandwagoning and balancing strategies is working comprehensively in various spheres.

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The US promotes the rule of law and the enforcement of the South China Sea Arbitration Ruling

Beijing promotesRecently, public opinion has paid much attention to the US-China strategic competition in the South China Sea, demonstrated through intense military exercises by both sides. However, all the US’ moves over the past month in the South China Sea show that the United States is strongly promoting law enforcement, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and the Arbitration Ruling dated July 12, 2016 on the South China Sea. Specifically,

1. On June 1, 2020, the United States sent a letter to the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, protesting China’s demands and aggressive actions in the South China Sea. This letter was signed by Ms. Kelly Craft, the United States Ambassador to the United Nations. The letter emphasized: “Specifically, the United States objects to China’s claim to “historic rights” in the South China Sea,” and “the United States notes in this regard that the Tribunal unanimously concluded in its ruling, which is final and binding on China and the Philippines under Article 296 of the UNCLOS, that China’s claim to historic rights is incompatible with the UNCLOS.”

China’s strategy of economic self-reliance, under label of ‘dual circulation’

China has been the chief beneficiary of the globalisation of the world economy which began accelerating since the end of the Cold War in the early 1990s. This phase of relatively free movement of capital and technology and goods and services enabled China to transform itself into a low-cost manufacturing hub for the world. It became an export powerhouse leveraging its access to the large consuming markets of the US, Europe and Japan. Thanks to its brand of state capitalism and managed markets, China emerged relatively unscathed from the global financial and economic crisis (GFEC) of 2007-8 while the advanced capitalist economies of the West faced prolonged disruption and stagnation. The Western consensus behind globalisation has been eroded as competition from China has sharpened. There is a rise in protectionist sentiments in the West, a greater scrutiny of inward investment particularly for acquisitions in the high-tech sector, and growing sensitivity over loss of intellectual property to Chinese firms.

Strategic Lunacy Doesn’t Play in Reality

Strategic Lunacy Doesnt Play in RealityPresident Donald Trump with a bat, ready to take a swing at the world-turned-piñata. Sciutto’s previous work, The Shadow War, explored the threats Russia and China posed to the United States—now, he’s turned his attention around to consider America’s own contribution to global instability.

Well before he assumed office, Trump made clear he would operate differently and set out to break conventional wisdom when it came to foreign affairs. NATO was “obsolete,” until he decided after he entered office it was “no longer obsolete.” He toyed with bringing waterboarding back as a U.S. practice. And he questioned why he couldn’t speak by phone with the president of Taiwan. By the end of his first year, some policymakers attempted to make sense of his mercuriality by describing his approach as “madman theory.”

Beijing deflects conflicts outwards, threatening the entire region

Beijing deflects conflicts outwards threatening the entire regionThe US-China trade war in the last two years has caused many difficulties for the Chinese economy. The Covid-19 outbreak since late 2019 in China has made it even harder. For the first time, China recorded negative GDP growth rate in the first quarter of 2020, which decreased by 6.8% compared to the 4th quarter of 2019. Dozens of millions of Chinese people lost their job. The dissatisfaction within Chinese society, as well as the increasing criticism and denouncement against President Xi Jinping and the Beijing authority has been attributed to economic difficulties, and the Beijing authority's irresponsibility and lack of transparency in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Furthermore, Beijing has to deal with challenges from Hong Kong and the Uyghurs issue in Xinjiang. In terms of foreign affairs, the fact that the China-originated Covid-19 pandemic has caused approximately 20 million infected cases with the death toll rising to nearly half-million on global scale, and China's behaviour amid the crisis has added to the rise of anti-China sentiment worldwide. Given the mounting challenges and difficulties from both internal and external environments, the authority in Beijing is now seeking for a way to deflect internal conflicts outwards, challenging the entire region.

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