South China Sea Developments in 2013:
ASEAN Unity Restored, Sino-Philippine Tensions and ASEAN-China Consultations on a Code of Conduct
Carlyle A. Thayer*
The 5th International Workshop on The South China Sea: Cooperation for Regional Security and Development
November 11-12, 2013
This paper considers major developments affecting regional security cooperation in the South China Sea during 2013. First, the paper reviews the evolution of a common ASEAN position on a Code of Conduct (COC) following the debacle at the 45th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting in Phnom Penh in July 2012. Second, the paper discusses new tensions between Beijing and Manila following the Philippines submission of a claim for an Arbitral Tribunal, the dispatch of Chinese Coast Guard vessels to Second Thomas Shoal, and Philippine allegations of Chinese construction activities at Scarborough Shoal. Third, the paper traces developments from China’s announcement in April that it was willing to begin consultations with ASEAN on a COC, the first China-ASEAN consultations, and the end of year round of ASEAN and related summits. Fourth, the paper briefly reviews the role of external powers – U.S. rebalancing and the Philippines, China’s provocative military exercises, and Japan-Philippines security cooperation. Fifth, the paper reviews the role of the South China Sea in bilateral relations between the Philippines and Taiwan, Vietnam and China, Malaysia and China, and Brunei and China.
Download the full article [PDF] at Thayer-South-China-Sea-Developments-in-2013
* Carlyle Thayer is Emeritus Professor at The University of New South Wales at the Australian Defence Force Academy, Canberra. For a full list of his publications, visit http://www.scribd.com/carlthayer