Skip to main content

Buying time in the South China Sea

SupChina.com


“China hopes to complete talks on South China Sea code of conduct in 3 years,” says Xinhua News Agency. China security scholar M. Taylor Fravel tweeted an explanation:

Li Keqiang suggests in Singapore that a Code of Conduct [CoC] for the South China Sea will take another three years to complete (after agreeing upon a single draft in August).

Clearly, the process of negotiating, and of having a process, is more important than achieving a code to address the many issues in the area. In other words, the talks are more of a journey than a destination. On the one hand, the South China Sea contains the world’s most complicated disputes, with conflicting claims to sovereignty over land features as well as jurisdiction over maritime zones. The interests of ASEAN states are not necessarily fully aligned.

On the other hand, the talks are aimed only at how to manage the disputes, not to resolve the underlying claims. Moreover, they can draw on many existing approaches in the maritime domain, such as the Code for Unplanned Encounters at Sea.

China has been able to negotiate the final resolution of many territorial disputes on its land border (often quickly) as well as bilateral border CBMs [coordinated border management agreements] with India and multilateral ones with Russian and some Central Asian states.

So, the CoC talks are about creating a diplomatic process and buying time, to lower tensions in the short term but without addressing the real issues that could spark another round of escalation.


See also:

China says Pacific not sphere of influence of any country / APBolton warns China against limiting free passage in South China Sea / WSJ (paywall)China’s growing role in South Pacific nations cannot be stopped, says vice-minister Zheng Zeguang / SCMP

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

SSG Commando Muddassir Iqbal of Pakistan Army

“ Commando Muddassir Iqbal was part of the team who conducted Army Public School operation on 16 December 2014. In this video he reveals that he along with other commandos was ordered to kill the innocent children inside school, when asked why should they kill children after killing all the terrorist he was told that it would be a chance to defame Taliban and get nation on the side. He and all other commandos killed children and later Taliban was blamed.
Muddassir Iqbal has deserted the military and now he is  with mujahedeen somewhere in AF PAK border area”
For authenticity of  this tape journalists can easy reach to his home town to interview his family members or   ISPR as he reveals his army service number”
Asalam o Alaikum: My name is Muddassir Iqbal. My father’s name is Naimat Ali. I belong to Sialkot divison (Punjab province), my village is Shamsher Poor and district, tehsil and post office  Narowal. Unfortunately I was working in Pakistan army. I feel embarrassed to tell you …

The Rise of China-Europe Railways

https://www.csis.org/analysis/rise-china-europe-railways

The Rise of China-Europe RailwaysMarch 6, 2018The Dawn of a New Commercial Era?For over two millennia, technology and politics have shaped trade across the Eurasian supercontinent. The compass and domesticated camels helped the “silk routes” emerge between 200 and 400 CE, and peaceful interactions between the Han and Hellenic empires allowed overland trade to flourish. A major shift occurred in the late fifteenth century, when the invention of large ocean-going vessels and new navigation methods made maritime trade more competitive. Mercantilism and competition among Europe’s colonial powers helped pull commerce to the coastlines. Since then, commerce between Asia and Europe has traveled primarily by sea.1Against this historical backdrop, new railway services between China and Europe have emerged rapidly. Just 10 years ago, regular direct freight services from China to Europe did not exist.2 Today, they connect roughly 35 Chinese…

China's Raise as a Maritime Power

China's Rise as a Maritime PowerOcean Policy from Mao Zedong to Xi JinpingTAKEDA Jun’ichiSenkaku IslandsApr 23, 2014 PDF Download1. IntroductionThe international community has been viewing China's recent moves relating to the seas as representing "maritime expansion," and the Chinese themselves have come to talk about making their country a maritime power. In the political report he delivered in the autumn of 2012 to the eighteenth National Congress of the Communist Party of China, which stands at the top of the country's power structure, General Secretary Hu Jintao declared, "We should enhance our capacity for exploiting marine resources, develop the marine economy, protect the marine ecological environment, resolutely safeguard China's maritime rights and interests, and build China into a maritime power."1 This was Hu's final report as the top leader of the CPC; after delivering it he stepped down from his posts as general secretary and chairm…