Lawfare in the South China Sea

In another UNCLOS-related story, the NY Times reports that Vietnam is increasingly trying to multilateralize its territorial disputes with China over the Paracel and Spratly Islands in the South China Sea. Instead of negotiating bilaterally, Hanoi is pushing a collective negotiation between all the parties — Taiwan, Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei — that have conflicting claims. In the “Integrate but CYA” formula I’ve used to refer to Asia, this would be the “Integrate to CYA” correlary. There’s nothing terribly novel about a collection of weaker states banding together to counterbalance the influence of a more powerful one, and China is […]

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