Robert Williams is a senior research scholar, lecturer, and executive director of the Paul Tsai China Center at Yale Law School. He is also a nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution.
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With biannual joint U.S.-South Korea military exercises set to begin on Monday, the temperature on the Korean Peninsula has cooled, if only slightly, following a recent escalation in rhetoric between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
Last Friday, on the heels of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte declaring his “separation from the United States” during a visit to China, the USS Decatur conducted a freedom of navigation operation (FONOP) in the vicinity of the Paracel Islands in the South China Sea. Julian Ku has written about this operation here.
The wait is over: a judgment has been issued in the Philippines v. China South China Sea arbitration. A five-judge tribunal constituted under the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) in The Hague has released its much-anticipated Award concerning the Philippines’ challenge to a number of China’s maritime claims and activities in the region.