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Home Database The Seventh International Conference on SCS
The Seventh International Conference on SCS

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Prof. Michael Sheng-ti Gau, Institute of Law of the Sea, National Taiwan Ocean University, Taiwan

A critical but ignored issue is the consequences of withholding those Sino-Philippine SCS (un-submitted) core disputes by the Philippines. Would these consequences undermine the effectiveness of the award of this Arbitration? To what extent will such consequences affect the Sino-Philippine relations in the SCS after this Arbitration is over? Having completed an in-depth research on this issue, the author concludes that Philippines’ partial submission of its multi-layered SCS disputes with China will turn the award of this Tribunal totally useless in terms of resolving the confrontations between the Parties indicated by Philippines’ Memorial. It concerns the Tribunal when approaching the stage of producing the first award on the jurisdiction and admissibility issues for this case. This paper advises the Tribunal to apply Article 27(2) of its Rules of Procedure and to terminate the arbitral proceedings as its continuation is unnecessary due to such inefficacy of the award in the merits phase.


Prof. Carl Thayer, The University of New South Wales, the Australian Defence Force Academy, Canberra,  Australia

Are we about to see the conclusion of a binding COC thirteen years after ASEAN and China committed themselves to “to work, on the basis of consensus, towards the eventual attainment of this objective”? It seems highly unlikely because China insists that the 2002 Declaration on Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) be fully implemented first. This paper canvasses what are the likely “crucial, difficult and complicated issues” that remain to be resolved. The paper argues that ASEAN should pursue its own dual track approach to managing tensions in the South China Sea. First, ASEAN mustcontinue to pursue its consultations with China on the COC. Second, in light of China’s construction of forward operating bases on its artificial islands, ASEAN should look beyond the COC and shore up the ASEAN Political-Security Community while at the same time drawing in the support of its dialogue partners. Only ASEAN unity and leadership will preserve its centrality in managing challenges to Southeast Asia’s security.


Ms. Rukmani Gupta, Senior Asia-Pacific Analyst for IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly

Land reclamation activities undertaken in the South China Sea enable various parties to increase their presence in the region and reassert their claims. Reclamation may have been viewed as less contentious method than creating completely new facilities for retaining control over maritime features in the past. However, a review of recent efforts by various countries in this regard illustrates the danger inherent in continued building activities. Resolve for such activities is tempered by access to resources in the form of man-power, capital and technology. It is therefore unsurprising that reclamation activities by some states are more intensive than others. Although under UNCLOS 60(8), artificial installations do not have the same status as islands neither affecting a state’s territorial sea boundary, EEZ, or continental shelf boundary; reclamation work is steadily paving the way for changing the status quo on the sea.


South China Sea Young Leaders Program

-David Fitzsimmons

-Liu Chang

-Angela Poh

-Gregoire-Francois Legault

-Nguyen Ngoc Lan

-Lim KhengSwe

-Tran Thi Ngoc Suong

-Truong Minh HuyVu


Dr. Xue Li, Director of Department of International Strategy, Institute of World Economics and Politics, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences

Great powers are often serving as major actors in nation-state system. Currently South China Sea (SCS) is no doubt a hotly debated topic among great power balances. A state’s foreign policy is shaped by its national interests, thus the weight of certain issue decides to what extent the government could be dedicated to. Vertically, based on its importance, national interests could be categorized into four layers, The first is core interest, that is key to the country’s survival, as heart and brain to human body; The second one is important interest, that refers to issues have significant influence to the nation’s development, like hands and feet. The third layer is general interest that has impacts on development or some functions rather than the regime’s existence, like fingers. The last one is secondary interest that includes issues have little influence to the whole state, like nails and hair. Horizontally, national interests also could be divided into four aspects, that is, politics, economy, military and culture.


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South China Sea Studies

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