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09 Mar 2017
[Lecture & Round Table Discussion] – by invitation only South China Sea: Recent Development and Future Prospects

On 11 July 2016, an arbitral tribunal at the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague issued a long-awaited ruling in Manila’s case against Beijing’s claims in the South China Sea (SCS). The judges issued a unanimous decision that invalidated Beijing’s claims to ill-defined historic rights throughout the nine-dash line, finding that any claims of the SCS must be made based on maritime entitlements from land features. Thus, a new phase of territorial disputes in the SCS ensued in the wake of Philippines’ sweeping arbitral victory.

In response to speculation about the probable reaction of China and the possible action of other neighbouring countries that has been rife in different arenas across the globe, Asian Academy of International Law invited Dr Wu Shi-cun to share his insights into the latest development and future prospects in the SCS with a group of specially invited guests, including government officials, legal academics and practitioners. 

Other than the President of China’s National Institute for South China Sea Studies, Dr Wu is also the Deputy Director of the Collaborative Innovation Center of South China Sea Studies, Nanjing University, as well as a member of Foreign Policy Advisory Group of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China. With his remarkable breadth of experience and depth of knowledge, Dr Wu succinctly presented the background of the regional conflicts in the SCS and expounded on seminal events such as the change of administration in the United States and the Philippines which gave rise to uncertainties over the future prospects in the SCS. Dr Wu affirmed it is of vital importance to confer and collaborate with countries in the region, reaching new consensus and resolving disputes through consultations in order to secure long-term regional stability in the SCS.