Latest in South China Sea

South China Sea

Assessing the South China Sea Arbitral Award after One Year: Why China Won and the U.S. is Losing

A year ago today, an arbitral tribunal formed pursuant to the United Nations Convention for the Law of the Sea issued a blockbuster award finding much of China’s conduct in the South China Sea in violation of international law. As I detailed that day on this blog and elsewhere, the Philippines won about as big a legal victory as it could have expected. But as many of us also warned that day, a legal victory is not the same as an actual victory.

South China Sea

Why the U.S. Can’t Take Sides in South China Sea Sovereignty Disputes, Even Against China

Despite last month’s U.S. Navy operation near Chinese-occupied Mischief Reef in the South China Sea, influential commentators have offered increasingly dire warnings about the failure of U.S. policy to prevent growing Chinese dominance in the region.

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.

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