Peter A. Dutton

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Peter Dutton is a Professor of Strategic Studies and Director of the China Maritime Studies Institute at the U.S. Naval War College. Professor Dutton's current research focuses on American and Chinese views of sovereignty and international law of the sea and the strategic implications to the United States and the United States Navy of Chinese international law and policy choices. Selected recent publications include: Military Activities in the EEZ: A U.S.-China Dialogue for Security in the Maritime Commons (December 2010), Caelum Liberam: Air Defense Identification Zones Outside Sovereign Airspace (American Journal of International Law, October 2009), Charting a Course: US-China Cooperation at Sea (China Security, April 2009), Scouting, Signaling and Gate-Keeping: Chinese Naval Operations in Japanese Waters and the International Law Implications (China Maritime Studies Monograph, April 2009), and Carving Up the East China Sea (Naval War College Review, Spring 2007). Additionally, Professor Dutton has testified before the U.S. China Economic and Security Review Commission on Chinese Perspectives on Sovereignty and Access Control (February 2008) and on the Implications of Chinese Naval Modernization (June 2009). Additionally, he testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Maritime Disputes and Sovereignty Issues in East Asia (July 2009). Professor Dutton also researches and lectures on topics related to international law of the sea issues in the East and South China Seas, East and Southeast Asia, the Arctic, the Proliferation Security Initiative, and Maritime Strategy. He is a retired Navy Judge Advocate and holds a J.D. from the College of William and Mary, a Master's of Arts (with distinction) from Naval War College, and a Bachelor's of Science (cum laude) from Boston University.

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South China Sea

Forget the FONOPs — Just Fly, Sail and Operate Wherever International Law Allows

On May 24, the guided-missile destroyer USS Dewey (DDG 105) operated within 12 nautical miles (nm) of Mischief Reef, a disputed feature in the South China Sea (SCS) controlled by the People’s Republic of China, but also claimed by the Philippines, Taiwan, and Vietnam. The Dewey’s action evidently challenged China’s right to control maritime zones adjacent to the reef —which was declared by the South China Sea arbitration to be nothing more than a low tide elevation on the Philippine continental shelf.