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Water Wars

Water Wars: A Month of Simmering Tensions to Ring in the New Year

Editor's Note: Welcome back to Water Wars! Following our holiday hiatus, this first edition of the new year will look back at the major events in the Asian Pacific since our last post in late November. Next Friday, we’ll be back to our normal format, with a more detailed and nuanced analysis and commentary of the week's events.


Water Wars

Water Wars: Maritime Disputes Feature Prominently During Int’l Summit Circuit

By week’s end, the major players in the South and East China Sea will have participated in three separate international conferences touching on tensions in the Asian-Pacific. The meetings include the G-20 summit in Turkey, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Forum in the Philippines, and the ASEAN Summit in Malaysia.

South China Sea

What Did The Navy Do In the South China Sea?

After the U.S.S. Lassen’s freedom of navigation operation (FONOP) in the Spratly Islands last week, we wrote that the Lassen and the accompanying P-8 Poseidon aircraft appeared to have conducted normal military operations inside 12 nm around Subi Reef. That was important because normal military operations are not “innocent passage,” a demonstrably nonthreatening mode of transiting another nation’s territorial seas.

Water Wars

Water Wars: The PRC's Double Trouble in the South China Sea

The past few days have witnessed two huge developments in the South China Sea. On Tuesday, the U.S. Navy conducted a long-anticipated freedom of navigation (FON) patrol in the Spratly Islands. Two days later, the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) ruled that it has jurisdiction to hear the Philippines v. PRC maritime case. Given the magnitude of the arbitral decision and U.S. FONOPS, this week’s post will focus exclusively on these two events.

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