CSIS: Asia Maritime Transparency Initiatie, Dec. 18, 2015 brief

A Case of Rocks or Islands?

This issue of AMTI explores the ongoing case between China and the Philippines at the arbitral tribunal at the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague. The Philippines argued the merits of its case against China’s claims in the South China Sea before an arbitral tribunal at the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague from November 24 to 30. As it has since the case was filed in early 2013, China refused to recognize or take part in the proceedings.

A ruling on the merits of the case is now widely expected sometime in mid-2016. According to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, the tribunal’s award will be final and legally binding despite China’s nonparticipation. For further insights on the importance of the arbitration, AMTI spoke to Jose Cuisia, Philippine ambassador to the United States, John Norton Moore, director of the Center for Oceans Law and Policy at the University of Virginia Law School, and Paul Reichler, partner at Foley Hoag LLP and the Philippines’ lead counsel in the case.

AMTI has also produced a unique series of maps detailing possible outcomes from the court case and how they impact the South China Sea.  Read on…



Featured Analysis

Philippines And Japan Strengthen A Twenty-First Century Security Partnership

by Renato Cruz de Castro
During a bilateral meeting at the November 18-19 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation leaders’ summit in Manila, Philippine president Benigno Aquino and Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe agreed in principle to negotiate the transfer of defense equipment and technology from the Japan Self-Defense Forces to the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP). If completed, this accord would be Japan’s first defense agreement with an Asian country. More significantly, it is an indication that both countries are determined to pursue a strategic partnership in the face of China’s growing assertiveness in Asia. Read on…


Possible Consequences Of The Philippines’ South China Sea Arbitration Case

by Mingjiang Li
The Philippines’ arbitration case against China has created significant new dynamics in the South China Sea disputes. With the prospect of a ruling from the tribunal in the coming months, it is time to ponder the case’s possible consequences. The tribunal will likely reach a decision on at least the seven submissions by the Philippines on which the judges have already announced jurisdiction. But the claimant states, especially China, are unlikely to dramatically change their major policies and positions as a result. Read on…


An Interview With Shen Lyu-Shun, Representative Of The Republic Of China To The United States

Shen Lyu-shun, representative of the Republic of China (Taiwan) to the United States, sits down with AMTI director Gregory Poling to discuss the recent visit of Interior Minister Chen Wei-zen to Itu Aba, or Taiping Island, Taiwan stance on the Philippines’ arbitration case against China, and Taipei’s South China Sea strategy. Read on…


An Interview With Paul Reichler, Lead Counsel For The Philippines In Its Case Against China

Paul Reicher, partner at Foley Hoag and lead counsel for Manila in its arbitration case against Beijing’s South China Sea claims, sits down with AMTI director Gregory Poling to discuss why Manila is pursuing arbitration, the proceedings to-date, and what comes next. Read on…


Featured Maps







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