South China Sea

  • The Background of the Disputes over the South China Sea Islands

    Author: Karol Kościelniak
    Institution: University in Poznań
    Year of publication: 2014
    Source: Show
    Pages: 11-19
    DOI Address:
    PDF: rop/2014/rop201401.pdf

    In the light of the official statements made by the capitals of its coastal states, there is probably not a single centimetre of free space left in this sea, to which a claim has not been issued. In some parts of the sea, the claims of three, four of even five states overlap, creating a truly Gordian knot. The significance of the South China Sea causes that if the dispute over the archipelagos is not settled by implementing peaceful methods and means, at the negotiation table, East Asia region is likely to become a potential source of destabilisation and conflict whose size, in respect to the location and the number of parties directly or indirectly engaged in the dispute might turn out to be extremely hazardous.

  • Current International Situation in the South China Sea the Path to Confrontation?

    Author: Karol Kościelniak
    Institution: Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań
    Year of publication: 2013
    Source: Show
    Pages: 138-149
    DOI Address:
    PDF: rop/2013/rop201308.pdf

    In recent years, the South China Sea area has become the arena of competition between the countries of Southeast Asia that set up claims to maritime areas and the islands, and, all the more, want to control and exploit what can be found under the seabed, namely the deposits of oil and gas. The situation in the area cannot even be resolved by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (Montego Bay, 1982). Apart from the resources found in the sea and under the seabed, this body of water is an important shipping route, which makes it a strategically significant area for each of the countries located there, or those whose interests involve the South China Sea.
    In this work, I describe the current situation in the waters of South China Sea: whether the countries bordering it strive for conflict or just secure their interests. It turns out each of the states will set up demands to the islands on this sea and especially to everything that lives in the sea and is to be found under the seabed. Minor, and also more significant incidents will happen, but it does not seem likely that any serious open conflict between the states of the region will break out in the close future. None of the countries pursues it and they do everything they can to maintain the status quo.

  • Konflikt na Morzu Południowochińskim Zarys historyczny, omówienie problemów natury politycznej i prawnej ze szczególnym uwzględnieniem elementów polityki zagranicznej Chin

    Author: Maciej Zuziak
    Institution: Uniwersytet Śląski
    Year of publication: 2018
    Source: Show
    Pages: 131-153
    DOI Address:
    PDF: npw/18/npw1807.pdf

    The South China Sea dispute: historical overview, discussion of problems of a political and legal nature with particular emphasis on elements of China’s foreign policy

    The South China Sea is one of the key interests of Chinese foreign policy. The author of the provided article will analyse geopolitical factors, including estimation of the total value of the resources of the South China Sea, further providing the reader with information about international law regulations regarding the analysed matter, as well as presenting the current situation on the South China Sea. During the realisation of said plan, the author will try to prove the thesis that the South China Sea is of utmost importance to the Republic of China, the thesis that international law is unable to resolve disputes arising from said sea, as well as the thesis that Chinese presence is gradually increasing on the South China Sea. After proving all of the highlighted theses, the author will present the most probable political forecast, as well as opinions presented in literature regarding this matter.

  • Power Analysis and Geopolitical Codes of South China Sea States in the Context of Contemporary Geopolitics

    Author: Marek Musioł
    Institution: University of Wrocław
    Year of publication: 2019
    Source: Show
    Pages: 407-430
    DOI Address:
    PDF: ppsy/48-3/ppsy2019302.pdf

    The analysis in this article provides an overview of the research on the current relations among countries of the South China Sea basin. For this purpose, I have decided to apply the geopolitical research workshop, focusing on its contemporary approach. On the one hand, this work uses the available indicators and index to gauge the level of development, economic and demographic potential, and military expenditure of these states. On the other hand, an effort was made to analyze and measure power, taking into account the changing geopolitical status of countries in this sub-region.
    Contemporary geopolitics in this context allows to verify the scale of the impact on permanent environmental and geographic factors (e.g. publicized investments carried out by the People’s Republic of China in Mischief Reef, Fiery Cross, Subi Reef and Woody Island) and the elaboration of proposals going beyond the classical, geopolitical framework (morphological, political and military factors). Therefore, this article also includes the use of geopolitical codes to assess the current strategies of these countries and to describe potential scenarios of actors’ behaviour in the sub-region.

  • Some Comments on Vietnam’s Security in the 21st Century

    Author: Karol Kościelniak
    Institution: Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań
    Year of publication: 2019
    Source: Show
    Pages: 71-78
    DOI Address:
    PDF: rop/2019/rop201904.pdf

    The main objective set by many countries is ensuring security. The means to accomplish this goal are the armed forces, obliged to guarantee safe functioning of the state and its citizens. There are states, for which maintaining a powerful, modern army has enormous significance for their superpower status, for their preparedness to a potential conflict or as a deterrent for the neighbouring states. Therefore, in the following text I will deal with the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, because of its history, and especially due to the region where it is situated - one of the hottest places on Earth, full of misunderstandings, disputes and conflicts causing that the states situated there, including Vietnam, are modernising their armies.

  • Rywalizacja Stanów Zjednoczonych i Chińskiej Republiki Ludowej w Azji Południowo-Wschodniej w latach 2017–2018

    Author: Krzysztof Szumski
    Institution: retired diplomat, expert on Thailand
    Year of publication: 2019
    Source: Show
    Pages: 119-152
    DOI Address:
    PDF: ap/22/ap2206.pdf

    The rivalry between the United States and China in the Southeast Asia in 2017 and 2018.

    The rivalry of great powers between the United States and China embraces all regions of East Asia, including Southeast Asia and the South China Sea. The situation changed and became even more dynamic at the beginning of 2017, with the arrival of Donald Trump, the new American President. Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from the Trans Pacific Partnership had a significant influence on the situation in Southeast Asia and started a trade war with China as well as a race in the field of new technologies. The Trump Administration also introduced a new strategy of “free and open Indo – Pacific” which shared some basic strategic similarities with its predecessor – the Pivot. Washington has labeled China a strategic rival and a military threat. The American activities are strongly supported by Japan. The Japanese prime minister Shinzō Abe considers supporting Trump’s policy of trade war and general confrontation with China is in Japanese national interest. China was surprised by the evolution of American policy and its reaction was rather defensive. The Chinese president Xi Jinping suspects that the US’s real goal is to prevent China from rising or projecting power and influence abroad, especially in Southeast Asia and South China Sea. However China’s leadership has firmly decided to oppose the American administration policy, particularly in the above mentioned region.
    The countries of the region of Southeast Asia started to be severely challenged by China but also by the United States and Japan, especially in the South Chinese Sea. The majority of these countries are likely to continue the “hedge” policy.

  • The Peace-Building Process in the South China Sea: Challenges and Future Prospects for a Maritime Regime

    Author: Kamila Stasiak
    Institution: Jagiellonian University
    Year of publication: 2020
    Source: Show
    Pages: 36-63
    DOI Address:
    PDF: npw/26/npw2603.pdf

    The aim of this article is to examine two treaties which are often presented by scholars as potential models for a maritime regime in the South China Sea, namely the Svalbard Treaty and the Antarctic Treaty System. The work concludes that even though both of the treaties have resolved equally complex territorial disputes, their importance as a role model for the SCS is limited due to the unique political condition in the Asia-Pacific. However, the solutions within the sphere of environmental protection and the structure of decision-making institutions developed by the abovementioned treaties present a valuable lesson and a potential example for the countries involved in the South China Sea dispute to emulate. The article argues that cooperation within environmental protection and fisheries management, as a low-profile endeavour, is easier to be put into practice than the joint development of highly contested hydrocarbon resources of the SCS. Furthermore, it can potentially lay foundation for the future high profile collaboration. The paper also presents a model of a maritime regime for the South China Sea.

  • The Emotional Backdrop of Legal Discourses in South China Sea Disputes

    Author: Eric Pomès
    Institution: Vendée Catholic University (ICES) (France)
    Author: Jean-Marc Coicaud
    Institution: Rutgers University, State University of New Jersey (USA)
    Published online: 10 June 2021
    Final submission: 1 August 2020
    Printed issue: December 2021
    Source: Show
    Page no: 18
    Pages: 25-42
    DOI Address:
    PDF: ppsy/50/ppsy202104.pdf

    The China Sea connects as many coastal states as it divides due to the economic and strategic challenges it represents. It also embodies an area of confrontations between the Great American and Chinese strategies. Identifying with precision the differences that arise requires an interest in the symbolic dimensions that surround them. This angle of analysis provides an opportunity to observe the functioning of international law and inevitably leads to a discussion of the emerging international order. The literature on the situation in the China Sea abounds. The paper’s singularity is to approach it under the prism of international law as revealing the psychology of an actor. To carry out this research, the authors use a pragmatic and critical approach to international law. The thesis defended shows that, contrary to a positivist and judicial approach to international law, elements exogenous to the law, the history, and the psychology of an actor, influence the interpretation of existing norms.

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