Science diplomacy could net peace dividends in South China Sea

The South China Sea is a unique natural laboratory for ocean research and exploration. And yet, this rifted basin, dotted with atolls, coral reefs and islets, is mired in disputed territorial claims between China, Vietnam, Taiwan, the Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei. It could be a gateway for oceanographic research, peace, and prosperity; instead, rising regional tensions and mistrust pose a grave threat to geopolitical and ecological security in Southeast Asia. China’s leader Xi Jinping vowe

Vietnam’s multi-pronged battle against climate change

The outlook for Vietnam’s drive toward climate-change adaptation initiatives are being tested in Hanoi, as the government mulls over plans to rebalance the energy mix between renewables and coal-fired electricity plants. Despite the emerging role of civil society, disagreements on the 10-year Power Development Plan drafts are impeding clean-energy development and calling into question the country’s position as a leading renewable-energy market in Southeast Asia. The Communist Party of Vietnam

U.S. Won’t Gamble on ASEAN Summit in Las Vegas

The global escalation of a novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has prompted U.S. officials to fold their diplomatic playing cards and postpone the scheduled Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit from the bright lights of 24-hour entertainment in Las Vegas. The Trump administration along with at least 8 of the 10 ASEAN nations, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam, anticipated the venue could forge closer cooperation and chart an improved geopoliti

In Vietnam, economic success underpins literary boom

Against the colorful backdrop of Vietnam's Tet (Lunar New Year) holidays in late January, there is plenty of evidence of rising consumerism among the country's burgeoning middle class. Hanoi's Doi Moi economic policy reforms from the mid-1980s were intended to drive a shift toward a socialist-oriented market economy. What emerged was a distinctive blend of capitalism and socialism, with growing focus on entrepreneurism and material success. One surprising trend, however, has been the revival of

A ‘Game of Drones’ resets the rules in the South China Sea

As the rules of the sovereignty endgame are revved up for reconnaissance and surveillance of the environment and Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs), the increased use of unmanned aerial vehicles or non-lethal drones emits more than a steady buzz in the latest foreign policy salvos among claimant nations against Beijing’s control of the South China Sea. A few months ago, the Pentagon announced the $47 million sale of 34 ScanEagle drones, made by Boeing, to the governments of Malaysia, Indonesia, th

How Vietnam may curb China’s ambitions

At the U.N. Secretariat building, sheathed in shiny aluminum, glass and marble and overlooking New York’s East River, Vietnamese diplomats are soon to celebrate their nation’s selection as a non-permanent member in the U.N. Security Council. As a country that has experienced the tragedies of wars, including one drawn out and fierce conflict with America five decades ago, Hanoi’s foreign policy role is now forged on peaceful cooperation, stability and independence. While there are five permanent

South Pacific islanders threatened by climate change and overfishing

The Pacific tuna fishing grounds are the largest in the world, contributing more than 60% of the global tuna catch. According to the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA), almost all tuna in the region are caught in one of two ways. Those to be sold in cans are mainly caught by purse seine fishing boats targeting skipjack tuna. While longline vessels catch bigeye and yellowfin destined for high-value sashimi markets. It’s a lucrative industry where a single tuna can net US$3 million. The

China is Destroying the Deep Blue Sea | GlobalEye

HO CHI MINH CITY – Since December 2013, China has added more than 1,200 hectares to islands in the South China Sea. The geopolitical implications of these land reclamation efforts are well documented: The majority of the activity has taken place on the Spratly Islands, an archipelago in the waters between Vietnam, Malaysia, and the Philippines, all of which – along with China, Taiwan, and Brunei – have competing claims to the region. What has been less discussed is the project’s environmental i

How China violates international law with impunity

Dark clouds continue to hang over the horizon. The mariner weather lore, “red sky in the morning, sailors (fishermen) take warning,” resonates sharply due to China’s high pressure drilling operations located in Vanguard Bank, inside Vietnam’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). Last month’s Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) South China Sea conference in Washington provided a forum for experts to address why the international community, especially the United States, should speak o

South China Sea Dispute Compels Washington To Ratify Sea Law – Analysis

The upcoming US-ASEAN summit on February 15-16 in Rancho Mirage, California provides an opportunity for the Obama administration to boldly demonstrate its rebalance towards Asia, and for the U.S. Senate to assert America’s national interests by ratifying the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). Since the ten countries that make up ASEAN are home to 660 million people and represent the world’s seventh largest economy, it’s vital to demonstrate proof of strategic commitment to US allies,
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