South China Sea

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  • Suryakant Prakash Nikam asked: What is the relevance of Spykman's rimland model in the context of the ongoing South China Sea conflict?

    Abhay Kumar Singh replies: Geography matters in geopolitics. Yale Professor Nicholas J. Spykman in his book America’s Strategy in World Politics wrote “Geography is the most fundamental factor in the foreign policy of states because it is the most permanent. Ministers come and go, even dictators die, but mountain ranges stand unperturbed.” Much before Spykman, John Mackinder in his seminal work Political Pivot of Geography made a case for the relevance of geography to statecraft.

    Why India’s South China Sea Stand Matters

    Why India’s South China Sea Stand Matters

    Regardless of the concessions Beijing is willing to offer on the NSG and bilateral issues, New Delhi has reason to continue viewing China’s maritime manoeuvres in the Indian Ocean Region with suspicion.

    August 19, 2016

    Philippine Naval Weakness Hampers Response to South China Sea Award

    Philippine Naval Weakness Hampers Response to South China Sea Award

    As the need for a modern and capable naval force grows ever more urgent, it remains to be seen if the Philippine Navy’s latest modernisation plans will become a reality or be still-born as was the case with earlier efforts.

    July 19, 2016

    The Hague Ruling on the South China Sea: Has David Taken Down Goliath

    The Hague Ruling on the South China Sea

    Whether the ruling would induce China to adopt a fresh look at the dispute or it would only further complicate the domestic and regional political situations will depend on the domestic, regional and international responses in the coming days and weeks.

    July 14, 2016

    South China Sea Ruling: India Strikes the Right Balance

    South China Sea Ruling: India Strikes the Right Balance

    While using unexceptionable language, India has actually not supported the Chinese position in the South China Sea and has called upon China to adhere to the limits laid down in the UNCLOS.

    July 14, 2016

    Recent Transitions in the Leadership of the PLA Rocket Forces

    Recent Transitions in the Leadership of the PLA Rocket Forces

    The leadership transition in the Rocket Forces shows that the service is not only integrating with other services but that its officials are increasingly called upon to other services to facilitate joint training and exercises.

    June 06, 2016

    South China Sea Arbitration: An Analysis

    South China Sea Arbitration: An Analysis

    Considering China’s non-appearance, the tribunal must proprio motu take judicial notice of all relevant facts, data, case precedents and public statements not communicated to it, and must apply its ‘arbitral wisdom’ based on international law.

    May 13, 2016

    Abhinaya Rai asked: How plausible is it for China to commence reclamation in the IOR? This is in specific context to Maldives' amendment to its constitution.

    Aman Saberwal replies: China does have the capability to reclaim land from the sea as has been demonstrated by its actions in the South China Sea. The speed and scale of the reclamation has been watched with trepidation by the world and especially by the neighbouring countries. China has rapidly converted reefs into islands and built ports, airstrips, radar stations and other infrastructure including that of military relevance. This has been done at distances of over 500 nautical miles from mainland China.

    The Escalating South China Sea Dispute - Lessons for India

    The Escalating South China Sea Dispute - Lessons for India

    For Indian observers, it is useful to extrapolate known Chinese position in the Indian Ocean Region and assess Beijing’s likely strategic behaviour. Indian policymakers might well recognise the fact that once China finds itself in a position of maritime advantage, diplomatic engagement has limited utility as a bargaining tactic.

    March 01, 2016

    Shekhar asked: What is ‘nine-dash line’ and China's policy with regard to it?

    Abhijit Singh replies: The ‘nine-dash line’ is a demarcation line used by China to delineate its territorial claims in the South China Sea (SCS). The contested areas include the Paracel Islands, the Spratly Islands and various other areas such as the Pratas Islands, the Macclesfield Bank and the Scarborough Shoal.

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