Taiwan and the South China Sea: More steps in the right direction

Brookings Institute
Date: August 24, 2015
By: Lynn Kuok

In early May 2015, I published a report arguing that Taiwan’s position in the South China Sea was evolving. It had taken small but significant steps toward clarifying that its claims are from land and in accordance with the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and international law. In addition, Taiwan had also adopted a more conciliatory position by advocating that its East China Sea Peace Initiative, which calls on parties to shelve disputes and promote joint exploration and development, be applied in the South China Sea as well.

Since then, Taiwan, one of the six claimants in the South China Sea dispute along with China, the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia and Brunei, has moved to take additional positive steps, most notably, officially launching a South China Sea Peace Initiative. In a climate where much of the news on the South China Sea has been negative and where the focus has largely been on deterrence, positive actions warrant highlighting. If the goal is a more stable and peaceful region, rewarding positive behavior is at least as important as deterring negative behavior.     [FULL  STORY]

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