New Approaches to the South China Sea Conflicts

The South China Sea conflicts pose a regional threat to peace, maritime security and economic progress in ASEAN, the coastal states along South China Sea (SCS) and global trade. All of the main claimants, including China, the Philippines, Vietnam, Taiwan, Malaysia and Brunei, have ratified UNCLOS (The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea). UNCLOS contains specific mechanisms for dispute resolution but these have not yet proven to be effective. Furthermore, as evidenced by China’s decision not to participate in the recent arbitration case brought by the Philippines or to accept the decision of the tribunal, it is unclear whether UNCLOS (or international agreements like it) can be a productive tool for managing this conflict. Given this situation, the panellists will discuss creative ways to respond to these seemingly intractable conflicts.

Co-organised by the Asian Studies Centre and University of Oxford China Centre.