Legal Posturing and Power Relations in the South China Sea

Author: Matthew C. Waxman
The Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative

The Philippines took China to international court in 2013 in order to challenge China’s assertion of vast maritime claims over the South China Sea. Matthew Waxman discusses why using international legal institutions in this way serves as a poor replacement for diplomacy and instead adds to both its complexity and set of instruments.

See more in China; Philippines; International Law

Primary Sources

Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Position Paper on the Matter of Jurisdiction in the South China Sea Arbitration

In 2013, the Philippines appealed to the United Nation's Convention on the Law of the Sea in settling claims to territory in the South China Sea. On December 7, 2014, the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs released the Chinese government's response, arguing that the Convention does not apply to the dispute in the South China Sea.

See more in China; Philippines; Territorial Disputes; Oceans

Must Read

Amnesty International: PHILIPPINES: Political Killings, Human Rights and

Author: Amnesty International

In this report Amnesty International documents an increased number of killings of political activists in the Philippines, predominately those associated with leftist or left-orientated groups. The attacks, mostly carried out by unidentified men who shoot the victims before escaping on motorcycles, have very rarely led to the arrest, prosecution and punishment of those responsible. Amnesty International believes that the killings constitute a pattern and that a continuing failure to deliver justice to the victims represents a failure by the Government of the Philippines to fulfil its obligation to protect the right to life of every individual in its jurisdiction.

See more in Philippines; Global Governance

Council Special Report No. 2

Challenges for a Post-Election Philippines

Author: Catherine E. Dalpino

As a victim of terrorism and the strongest supporter of U.S. counterterrorism policy among the members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, the Philippines already plays a vital role in preserving American security. With anti-Americanism on the rise in South Korea and Japan, the United States may need to depend more on the Philippines to fulfill its objectives in Asia. This report assesses the political, economic, and strategic situation in the Philippines following the 2004 elections and recommends steps that the United States and the Philippines should take to strengthen their economic and military ties.

See more in Philippines; Defense and Security; Elections