Connect with us

World

ASEAN in disarray over Chinese claims

Legacy Phuket Gazette

Published

 on 

BANGKOK: China’s territorial claims to the South China Sea are expected to be dealt a blow today as the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague (PCA) is scheduled to announce its decision on seven issues advanced by the Philippines against the People’s Republic.

The PCA, one of the world’s oldest and most widely-respected bodies for resolving international disputes, is likely to rule that China’s campaign of island building and its claims over areas of the sea contradicts international maritime accords.

China currently lays claim to some 2 million square kilometers of maritime space through a post-World War II plan known as the ‘nine-dash-line’. Only one of the seven submissions made by the Philippines, an ASEAN member, directly address the legality of Chinese claims. If the PCA found in favor of the Philippines in the other six submissions, it would undermine the legality of Chinese actions in the region.
To that effect, the People’s Republic has refused to take part in the PCA’s deliberations and has actively called into question the legitimacy of the body itself.

The Chinese government has also launched a national media campaign at home, in what appears to be an attempt to solidify government support ahead of international repudiation.

Thitinan Pongsudhirak, director of the Institute of Security and International Studies at Chulalongkorn University, says that the dispute between China and the Philippines is straining relations between ASEAN members, particularly between the more maritime-dependent Philippines and Vietnam and smaller ASEAN states located in China’s back yard.

“In fact, China is drumming up its own international support ahead of the PCA’s imminent decision, including a side agreement with Brunei, Cambodia and Laos that the international ruling will not impinge on ASEAN-China relations,” Mr Thitinan wrote in an op-ed piece in the Straits Times last month .

Should the PCA rule in favor of the Philippines, Mr Thitinan thinks it likely that those side agreements would undermine the unification of ASEAN by driving a wedge between the Philippines and Vietnam on the one hand, and Brunei, Cambodia and Laos on the other.

“The Manila-Beijing contest over the South China Sea has emerged as the most daunting and existential threat to all that ASEAN has achieved as the central linchpin of regionalism in Asia,” he wrote.

The stakes are high, both for China, which is expected to ignore the ruling if the Court finds in favor of the Philippines, and for ASEAN members, as Chinese influence erodes the economic organization’s political cooperation.

More than half the tonnage of the world’s global trade passes through the South China Sea annually, making it the second most used sea lane in the world.

The expected Chinese disregard for the PCA’s rulings and its undermining of ASEAN political unity also threatens claims by Vietnam and other member states to disputed off shore oil fields. The US Department of Energy Information estimates that there are oil reserves of around 11 billion barrels and natural gas of about 266 trillion cubic feet beneath the South China Sea bed.

The PCA has no means of enforcing whatever decision it delivers today. That means that should the Philippines wish to enforce its territorial claims against those advanced by China, it would find itself very much outgunned by the Chinese navy. This may shed some light as to the United States’ decision to dispatch two carrier-groups to Philippine waters over the last couple weeks.

With additional reporting by Wes Martin of the Phuket Gazette.

— Pornpimol Kanchanalak / The Nation

 

Get more from The Thaiger

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS
👋 Have your say on our Thailand forums
🔔 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
📺 Subscribe / Join YouTube for daily shows
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🐦 FOLLOW us on Twitter
📷 FOLLOW us on Instagram

image

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Koh Samui5 hours ago

Black Club Covid-19 outbreak on Koh Samui widens

Thailand5 hours ago

Possible earthquake in Nonthaburi this morning

Best of6 hours ago

Chiang Mai’s 8 most indulgent spa hotels

Sponsored8 hours ago

Experience Phuket’s Islands with 5 Star Marine

Welcome back to Thailand!

Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in Thailand - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages!

Coronavirus (Covid-19)6 hours ago

Bangkok Bang Sue scam under investigation, 7 volunteers and counting to be questioned

Thailand6 hours ago

Thailand News Today | ‘Crowding’ due to camera angles, train hospitals | July 29

Thailand7 hours ago

Spray guns ineffective and dangerous, says TFDA

image
Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Drugs7 hours ago

Methamphetamine pills hidden in instant noodle packets delivered for Covid patient

Coronavirus (Covid-19)8 hours ago

Anonymous “Dr Sandy” says pray the Covid situation gets better

Coronavirus (Covid-19)8 hours ago

Thursday Covid Update: Record high of 17,669 new cases; provincial totals

Phuket9 hours ago

Phuket governor eyes construction camps for stricter Covid measures

Best of10 hours ago

Top 5 spas in Chiang Mai

Coronavirus (Covid-19)10 hours ago

Health Minister says Bang Sue not crowded, blames “camera angles”

Cambodia11 hours ago

Cambodia plans lockdown with 8 provinces that border Thailand

Bangkok11 hours ago

Sleeper trains in Bangkok to become isolation facilities for Covid-19 patients

Thailand12 hours ago

GMT | New record infections, Pattaya ‘Move On’, drones or fireworks? | July 29

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism5 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism5 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism5 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8

Trending