04 June 2017
Miscalculations by tactical commanders on scene may still result in incidents arising from encounters between their forces and with non-government vessels at sea. One can imagine that policing disputed waters is a stressful endeavour where men on the ground do not want to be seen not doing their jobs or worse, ceding sovereignty to the other side.
We argue that the Code for Unplanned Encounters at Sea (CUES), which the US and Chinese signed up to since 2014, is a useful mechanism to help manage tensions arising from the South China Sea dispute. CUES constitutes a manual or set of ground rules on how to de-escalate an unplanned encounter between naval vessels.
But CUES in its present form is not a cure-all solution to the growing complexity of the South China Sea dispute; it needs to be strengthened.
… Bernard Miranda is an Adjunct Senior Fellow with the Maritime Security Programme, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang Technological University. Graham Ong-Webb and Collin Koh are research fellows at the same school.
GPO / IDSS / Online
Last updated on 06/06/2017