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Peter Drysdale | May 12, 2014 | Source: East Asia Forum

Over the past few days ASEAN leaders met in Naypyidaw, the capital of Myanmar, for the first time ever at their 24th summit. Against what were once considered long odds, ASEAN has become a central feature of Asian regional architecture. It is a bulwark of regional stability and increasing prosperity in Southeast Asia and a pivotal element in the geopolitics of the whole Asian region.

Giovanni Capannelli | May 11, 2014 | Source: East Asia Forum

When ASEAN was created 47 years ago its leaders intended to strengthen regional security — not to create an economic community. And although many scholars thought it wouldn’t survive its initial years, the group has reached maturity, becoming a key organisation for Asian regionalism and a crucial partner for the rest of the world. ASEAN is currently working to form an overarching community based on deep political-security, economic and socio-cultural pillars.

Aileen San Pablo Baviera | May 9, 2014 | Source: Asia Pacific Bulletin

President Barack Obama’s visit to the Philippines, the last leg of his recent four-nation Asian tour, produced a new bilateral defense agreement that was touted by some observers as the single most significant outcome of his regional foray. The agreement was said to contribute to his goals of reassuring allies and signaling that the United States is serious about its “rebalance” to Asia.

Walden Bello | April 28, 2014 | Source: Foreign Policy in Focus

As U.S. President Barack Obama descends on the Philippines, Manila and Washington are rushing to complete negotiations on an Agreement on Enhanced Defense Cooperation (AEDC) between the two countries.

The Philippines’ territorial disputes with China are one major reason for this new agreement. With Washington’s help, Philippine President Benigno Aquino III wants to make the Chinese respect the Philippines’ claims in the Scarborough Shoal, the Spratly Islands, the continental shelf, and its 200-mile exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

Walden Bello | April 23, 2014 | Source: Inquirer.Net

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Christopher Ward | April 21, 2014 | Source: East Asia Forum

The overlapping territorial and maritime claims in the South China Sea are regularly described as flash points and sources of tension. A number of these overlapping claims do not involve China. However, it is the assertions made by China that lie at the heart of many of the disputes, as well as their possible resolution within the framework of UNCLOS.

Teresita Ang See | April 15, 2014 | Source: Tulay Weekly

The Philippine government on March 30 submitted a pleading to the arbitral tribunal of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea asserting its claims to parts of the West Philippine Sea and seeking to invalidate Beijing’s claim over the South China Sea.

Zhang Hua | April 3, 2014 | Source: PRC Embassy in the Philippines

On March 30, the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs stated that it submitted its Memorial to the Arbitral Tribunal that is hearing the case it brought against China under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea in January 2013. A lot of media friends ask for comments on this issue. In order that China's position is clearly understood, I would like to elaborate on the following issues.

1. The Philippines' initiation of and push for international arbitration has undermined China-Philippines relations.

Gregory Poling | March 28, 2014 | Source: East Asia Forum

Recent months have seen a steady progression of China’s long-term strategy in the South China Sea, which can be loosely divided into two parts. Beijing is building up its maritime surveillance forces in the area and strengthening effective control of the features it occupies. At the same time, Chinese vessels are venturing far afield with greater frequency to assert Beijing’s claims to the entire area encompassed by the ‘nine-dash line’, and to provoke missteps by fellow claimants.

Carl Thayer | March 28, 2014 | Source: The Diplomat

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