A recent State Department legal analysis highlights the unique roles that the United States plays in interpreting and enforcing maritime law in the South China Sea. This legal diplomacy also illustrates methodological challenges of customary international law.
Latest in South China Sea
Continued Chinese interference with the resupply of the Sierra Madre contingent could have unintended consequences that destabilize the region and potentially result in an international armed conflict.
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?
Water Wars: Japan Makes Major Defense Spending Pledges While China Increases Incursions in the South China Sea
Chinese incursions into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone continue to escalate; Japan makes unprecedented defense pledges, to China’s chagrin; U.S. submarine collision gives China an opportunity to push back on U.S. operations in South China Sea
Biden announces “AUKUS is born,” marking the United States’ continued shift toward the Indo-Pacific, while China implements a new maritime identification law to regulate foreign vessels within its territorial waters.
The United States attempts to focus on its military and diplomatic interests in Asia despite the ongoing debacle in Afghanistan; Japan and Taiwan continue to grow closer; India seeks to cement its position; and European nations send mixed signals.
Once again, China is showing its disdain for the rules-based international legal order that regulates activities at sea.
Water Wars: Tense Relations Between China and the Philippines; Europe and Japan Seek Larger Roles in the Region
Relations between China and the Philippines continue to smolder; U.S. freedom of navigation operations continue; Japan and Europe move to address broader Indo-Pacific stability.
Water Wars: Chinese Maritime Militia Disperses Amid Political Standoff With the Philippines and the United States
China’s “gray-zone” tactics around the South China Sea, diplomatic developments with Taiwan and applying the Law of the Sea in the Spratly Islands.