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Home Database Prof. Geoffrey Till, SOUTH CHINA SEA: JUST WAITING FOR THE BREEZE?
Details for  Prof. Geoffrey Till, SOUTH CHINA SEA: JUST WAITING FOR THE BREEZE?
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Name Prof. Geoffrey Till, SOUTH CHINA SEA: JUST WAITING FOR THE BREEZE?
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If the situation is indeed deteriorating as this survey suggests, in Lenin’s words, what is to be done? There are of course a plethora of additional suggestions about how the dispute can be contained and managed – and gradually made less intractable.

One of the most persuasive must surely be greater candour on the part of all claimants, about exactly what it is they are claiming. China’s infamous ‘u-shaped line’ is particularly corrosive from this point of view, since no-one can be sure whether China is claiming the whole of the water space within the line or merely the rocks, islands and associated water areas within the line. Clarity here might relieve the minds of some of the other claimants. It is not clear why China does not do this, especially as its attitude to, and conduct of, the dispute is often taken as evidence of the ‘China threat theory’ which it so often deplores.

Rather in the same spirit, the 2002 agreement urges parties to the dispute, in addition to abjuring the use of force, to refrain from acts that might worsen it. All too often, this seems an injunction more honoured in the breach than in the observance.  China’s announcement that Sansha city in Hainan would govern the Paracel and Spratly islands, high profile political visits to disputed islands, the tabling of assertive jurisdictional claims, the Philippine Republic Act 9522 to incorporate the Kalayaan Island Group and so on, seem hardly likely to act to promote harmonious relations and so not in the spirit of the 2002 agreement..."

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Created On: 07/15/2011 13:24
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Last updated on 07/15/2011 13:27
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