Britain Is Right to Stand Up to China Over Freedom of Navigation

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Series Title
Series Details 01.06.18
Publication Date 01/06/2018
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China has been challenging aspects of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) for many years especially as regards freedom of navigation in the South China Sea.

China’s behaviour in the South China Sea and rebuff of the ruling of the Permanent Court of Arbitration, in July 2016, put the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) at risk with possible consequences to freedom of the seas.

The author argued in this commentary feature that by sailing Royal Navy ships through the South China Sea in the spring of 2018, the United Kingdom government was showing that it supported the rules that had prevented superpower conflict for over 70 years.

Further information

The article was written in the context of the holding of the IISS Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore from 1-3 June 2018. The Dialogue was Asia's premier defence security summit, a annual meeting of ministers and delegates from over 50 countries.

Over the years ministers have used the Dialogue to propose and advance initiatives on important security issues. These include maritime security in the Malacca Strait, the implications of regional states’ submarine capabilities, the proliferation of small arms and light weapons, regional security architecture, humanitarian and disaster relief, and the idea of a ‘no first use of force’ agreement in the South China Sea.

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Related Link(s)
IISS: IISS Shangri-La Dialogue
South China Morning Post, 01.06.18: Five things to watch for at the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore
Chatham House: Expert Comment, 11.07.18: Two Years On, South China Sea Ruling Remains a Battleground for the Rules-Based Order

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