On Tuesday, the United Nations Permanent Court of Arbitration issued its final ruling in a landmark case between the Philippines and China over disputed maritime claims in the South China Sea. The object of intense global interest, the three-year-old case has come to serve as a bellwether for the kind of rising power China intends to be.
In this article, Cohen discusses why China is legally bound by the UNCLOS arbitration tribunal’s ruling on the Philippines’ case against China on the South China Sea and the potential for the Philippines and China to renew bilateral negotiations in the ruling’s wake.
CFR hosted a workshop to explore how globalized production patterns are evolving, the risks they face, and how companies and countries can improve compliance and resilience across supply chains through new trade standards, legal regimes, and policies.
Authors: Stephen G. Brooks and William C. Wohlforth
After two and a half decades, is the United States’ run as the world’s sole superpower coming to an end? Many say yes, seeing a rising China ready to catch up to or even surpass the United States in the near future. By many measures, after all, China’s economy is on track to become the world’s biggest, and even if its growth slows, it will still outpace that of the United States for many years.
As China asserts itself in its nearby seas and Russia wages war in Syriaand Ukraine, it is easy to assume that Eurasia’s two great land powers are showing signs of newfound strength. But the opposite is true: increasingly, China and Russia flex their muscles not because they are powerful but because they are weak.
Despite China’s recent economic struggles, many economists and analysts argue that the country remains on course to overtake the United States and become the world’s leading economic power someday soon. Indeed, this has become a mainstream view—if not quite a consensus belief—on both sides of the Pacific.
In this article, Cohen discusses the preparations in advance of the UNCLOS tribunal’s ruling by parties and non-parties in the South China Sea disputes including China, the Philippines, Taiwan, and the United States.
China’s leadership of the Group of Twenty (G20) in 2016 comes at a moment when the role of the G20 itself is being challenged. CFR's Maurice R. Greenberg Center for Geoeconomic Studies and the Asia Global Institute convened a workshop in Hong Kong to assess the agenda facing the G20, why the group had fallen short of expectations in recent years, and whether China’s leadership in 2016 provides an opportunity for renewal.
North Korea’s fourth nuclear test in January and long-range rocket launch in February drew global opposition in the form of UN Security Council (UNSC) resolution 2270 and condemnation by regional leaders. Pyongyang promptly dismissed such calls with a series of short- and mid-range missile launches in March and April.
Ambassador Robert Blackwill asserts that China’s strategy is to maximize its “comprehensive national power” at the expense of American predominance in Asia, and that Xi Jinping—as China’s most powerful leader since Deng Xiaoping—is likely to pursue that strategy aggressively. Blackwill argues for a revised American grand strategy toward Asia that seeks to avoid conflict with Beijing and maintain U.S. primacy in the region.
Sheila A. Smith, senior fellow for Japan studies, analyzes how the United States and Japan together dealt with North Korean fourth nuclear test, China’s increasing military activities in the South China Sea, the long-standing base relocation issue in Okinawa, and the “Trump Shock,” caused by Republican frontrunner Donald Trump’s campaign language toward Japan on trade and on security cooperation.
In testimony before the United States-China Economic and Security Commission on April 27, 2016, Yanzhong Huang discussed China’s 13th Five Year Plan in the context of China’s healthcare system landscape, attempts at reform, and potential opportunities and challenges for collaboration between the United States and China in the healthcare sector.
In spite of significant differences in views, Beijing and Washington appear committed to not letting cyber issues derail the U.S.-China relationship or interfere with cooperation on other high-profile issues. Among the wide range of issues raised at their recent meeting on the sidelines of the Nuclear Security Summit, Presidents Barack Obama and Xi Jinping reiterated their commitment to last September’s breakthrough cybersecurity agreement.
“For some time, the idea of a formal trilateral discussion between the United States, Japan, and China has been considered but not acted on. Today, however, as the interactions among these three major powers carry such significant implications for the future of the Asia Pacific, the need for such a trilateral seems stronger than ever,” writes Sheila A. Smith, senior fellow for Japan studies.
Learn more about CFR’s mission and its work over the past year in the 2015 Annual Report. The Annual Report spotlights new initiatives, high-profile events, and authoritative scholarship from CFR experts, and includes a message from CFR President Richard N. Haass. Read and download »