Thitinan Pongsudhirak: Tribunal Ruling Against China Will Test ASEAN Unity

No matter how Tuesday’s verdict by an international tribunal on China’s South China Sea claim is viewed, and whatever its immediate consequences, the watershed ruling will bring about a “new normal” in Southeast Asia that portends more regional tensions and potential conflict in the longer term. This “new normal” means that the status quo before Manila took its case against China to the dispute-settling Arbitral Tribunal under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea in January 2013 will not be restored. China will effectively control the areas it has claimed and in which it has constructed features and facilities, even though the tribunal’s damning ruling suggests it has no legal right to do so. It behooves China now as an aspiring global leader to be satisfied with its neighborhood fait accompli and start to compromise with the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations by working toward the group’s proposed rules-based Code of Conduct for Parties in the South China Sea (CoC). For ASEAN, particularly for the Philippines, the favorable ruling may prove a Pyrrhic victory unless the resilient but divided regional organization can close ranks and put up a united and persuasive stand to rein in China’s maritime claims.

Read more: http://asia.nikkei.com/Viewpoints/Viewpoints/Thitinan-Pongsudhirak-Tribunal-ruling-against-China-willtest-ASEAN-unity

UPCOMING EVENTS
12 June 2016

The Verdict: Philippines Wins Arbitration Case vs China

The Philippine Star, July 12, 2016

06 June 2016

China, ASEAN Celebrate ‘Diamond Decade’ of Relations

The Jakarta Post, June 6 2016

02 June 2016

PM Raises Doubts on ASEAN Economic Community

The Phnom Penh Post, June 2, 2016

07 May 2016

ASEAN Needs Laos leadership

East Asia Forum, 7 May 2016

07 May 2016

Weak Perception a Challenge to AEC Labor Integration

The Jakarta Post, 7 May 2016

04 April 2016

New Institute a Step Forward For Food Safety in ASEAN

Bangkok Post, 4 April 2016

03 April 2016

What If They Gave an ASEAN Summit and the Media Failed to Turn Up?

The Diplomat, April 3, 2016

01 April 2016

Lack of Political Will Impedes Flow of Skilled Labor in ASEAN: Experts

Channel News Asia, 1 April 2016

07 March 2016

Meeting Kicks Off to Resolve Smog and Forest Fires in ASEAN

Thai Visa News, 7 March 2016