24 April, 2013
The South China Sea conflict continues to serve as a political minefield for the disputants involved as tensions escalate following the aggressive stance that Beijing has adopted.
- The conflict which involves sovereignty claims over the South China Sea / West Philippines Sea from Malaysia, Brunei, Vietnam, the Philippines and China has overshadowed high-level meetings between the nations all year and is top of the agenda at the ASEAN Summit just concluded in Brunei
- A legally binding Code of Conduct is one of the outcomes sought at the ASEAN Summit to ease tensions and relief pressure in a region which already has North Korea threatening nuclear warfare
- With the South China Sea dispute at the forefront, the Asia-Pacific region is predicted to hold 26% – nearly US$200 billion – of global naval and maritime security in the next 20 years as complex rivalries and relationships develop