A tribunal at the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) recently released its long-awaited judgment in the Philippines vs. China case. The case is the culmination of years of careful judicial and diplomatic positioning by the Philippines, rejecting the legality of China’s dubious claims to 90 percent of the South China Sea and its island-building operations in the disputed waterway. Yet even though the court’s ruling broadly favors the Philippines, the country’s new and bombastic president, Rodrigo Duterte, seems worryingly open to derailing his predecessors’ hard-won efforts. Unless Duterte walks back his campaign rhetoric dismissing arbitration and offering up concessions to China, he could squander a major opportunity to secure greater stability for the Philippines and the region.
To read the full op-ed, visit The Diplomat website.
More from CNAS
How China and the U.S. Are Competing for Young Minds in Southeast Asia
Business leaders at the World Economic Forum in Davos last month warned that China has overtaken the United States in the development of artificial intelligence and other emer...
By Kristine Lee
China's Artificial Islands Are Bigger (And a Bigger Deal) Than You Think
Surely you have heard the news — China has been dredging up coral reefs and creating artificial islands in the South China Sea with the purpose of enforcing their claims...
By CDR Thomas Shugart, USN
Beijing's Go Big or Go Home Moment in the South China Sea
China is preparing for its go or go home moment in the South China Sea and it appears they have chosen the right time to make a play for regional and, ultimately, global domin...
By Jerry Hendrix
Parting the South China Sea
July 12, 2016, marked a turning point in the long-standing disputes over the South China Sea. After more than three years of proceedings at the Permanent Court of Arbitration,...
By Mira Rapp-Hooper