12 July 2016
Asia is on edge over the implications of the international court decision on a case taken by the Philippines against China’s territorial claims in the South China Sea.
Australia has taken a cautious approach to the issue, supporting the Philippines’ right to take the case to the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) in The Hague but refraining from conducting freedom of navigation exercises, despite pressure from the US. However, the court finding may force Australia to take a clearer position amid the threat of splits between some of its closest economic and strategic partners.
… Kwa Chong Guan, Senior Fellow at S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies at Nanyang Technological University:
“What concerns not only me, but most of us in ASEAN about the scheduled award by the PCA in the arbitration instituted by the Philippines against China is not only China’s reaction, but equally the response of the US and other regional countries, especially Australia, India and Japan.”
… Ong Keng Yong, Executive Deputy Chairman, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang Technological University:
“An agitated Chinese reaction will further complicate ASEAN diplomacy to rebuild mutual respect between ASEAN member states and China to facilitate the implementation of the Declaration on Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea which could lead to a legally binding Code of Conduct. In return, the Philippine government may be forced to take a hardened stand vis-a-vis the Chinese government and this will pitch ASEAN member states with different persuasion against each other and prevent any consensus in ASEAN decision making.”
RSIS / Online
Last updated on 13/07/2016