Chinese Soft Power and ASEAN’s Constructive Engagement: Sino-ASEAN relations and the South China Sea

     After a decade of silence, the South China Sea (SCS) conflict has once again arisen to the top of the East Asian security debate. This conflict is in many ways a litmus test of China’s relations with ASEAN and its member states. It is a conflict embedded in, and a manifestation of, the overarching relations. If the two sides cannot manage the SCS, what is then left of two decades of [...]

Managing Security in the South China Sea: From DOC to COC

Hailed as a milestone document between ASEAN and China in 2002, the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) has not fulfilled its mission in building greater trust between the claimant states and preventing the dispute from escalating. It has merely played the role of imposing moral constraints on relevant parties. One could argue, however, that it has at least served [...]

Growing strategic rivalry among East Asia’s great powers: Implications for Southeast Asia and the South China Sea

Recent events in the East China Sea and the South China Sea portend that things are bound to get worse before they get better, with respect to the territorial and maritime resource disputes between China and various regional states. China’s November 23, 2013 declaration of an Air Defense Indentification Zone on the East China Sea, overlapping an area of the Diaoyutai/Senkakus disputed with [...]

Three Priority Measures in Maintaining Peace and Stability in the South China Sea

Tensions in the South China Sea have been boiling in recent years at the benefit of no one, be it China, ASEAN or the international community. Many have warned that the South China Sea is “the future of conflict,” 1the current situation is at an “impasse…” and might lead to “armed conflict” 2 and that it “warrants urgent attention by strategist and policy makers.” 3 A [...]