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Countering China’s Plan for the South China Sea: Are Legal Approaches Enough?

September 13, 2023 @ 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm


The 2016 tribunal ruling between the Philippines and China, and the failure thus far to uphold it, is a reminder of how essential international law is to security and prosperity in the region. China is not only undermining international law, but it is also seeking to expand the reach of its domestic law internationally. In February 2021, China passed its new Coast Guard Law which authorizes the Chinese coast guard to fire on foreign vessels entering China’s waters without permission—an authorization with serious regional implications given that China lays claim to the majority of the South China Sea. The move directly serves China’s larger purpose: to codify and impose its own rules and legal interpretations in order to reshape the regional order. COVID-19 has not altered China’s plan for the South China Sea, which definitely exerts long-lasting impact on Vietnam’s economic and political outlook. Vietnam has repeatedly expressed its unwavering commitments to fight against violations of international norms in the South China Sea. These diplomatic discourses and protests have proved insufficient to change China’s behavior. The study looks into other options available for Vietnam to deal with China’s increasing coercive policy in the South China Sea.


Dr. Nguyễn Thành Trung is currently a faculty member at Fulbright University Vietnam (FUV). Before joining the FUV, he was Director of Saigon Center for International Studies (SCIS) and head of the Faculty of International Relations at the University of Social Sciences and Humanities, VNU-HCM. His main area of interests are security studies, political economy, interplay between international relations and international law, and Vietnam studies. He can be reached at trung.nguyen@fulbright.edu.vn


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September 13, 2023
12:30 pm - 1:30 pm
Event Categories:
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Deb Colloquium Room
333 Golden Gate
San Francisco, CA United States
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