In November, China’s President Xi Jinping announced that China is prepared to sign the 1995 Bangkok Treaty, joining the ASEAN nuclear-free zone. Why now?
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ASEAN member states met in June as tensions in the South China Sea continue to rise.
Promoting regional interdependence through U.S. partners might give Southeast Asian countries more policy independence from Washington, but will also make them more resilient to Chinese influence.
Philippine and Chinese officials will launch a joint investigation into the at-sea collision that left 22 Filipino fishermen stranded in the South China Sea. On June 9—the official Philippines-China Friendship Day—a Chinese vessel rammed and sank a Philippine fishing vessel near Reed Bank (known in Tagalog as Recto Bank), northeast of the Spratly Islands, and reportedly fled after the collision. A Vietnamese fishing vessel later rescued the Filipino crew members who had been left in the water.
(Photo: US Navy)
Could we be witnessing a legal cascade in the South China Sea? Most states with claims have thus far eschewed formal legal challenges to China, but that could be changing. In the wake of the Philippines' legal victory against China (if only on jurisdictional questions), Indonesia's security chief has suggested that his country might also challenge Chinese claims.