Sunday, April 5
Though recent allegations raise more questions than they provide answers, they should reinforce the need for greater transparency in the South China Sea.
The international community should better understand how potential aggressors can leverage the ambiguity for low-level armed attack or aggression and be prepared to clearly identify it as an internationally wrongful act.
To strengthen its position in the Philippines and thus in the first island chain, the United States must achieve two key goals: diversify its diplomatic engagement with Manila and coordinate military resources and strategy.
As it might be difficult for China and the Philippines to defend their official claims over Scarborough as their own territory before the 20th century in an international court, both countries should engage in constructive negotiations over joint development. This is still the best option to avoid deterioration of the conflict for now and the years to come.
The submission by Malaysia represents a positive step forward for coastal states in the SCS to clarify their claims and seriously discuss maritime delimitation in accordance with UNCLOS and the interpretation of its article 121 (3) by the 2016 Tribunal Award.
© 2016 Maritime Issues