News

SEMINAR ON SOUTH CHINA SEA: CODE OF CONDUCT AS A TOOL FOR CONFLICT RESOLUTION

Eastin Hotel, Petaling Jaya

13 January 2020

MIMA Senior Researcher, Cdr Ang Chin Hup (R) proposed for the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) to be a tool to ease tensions in the South China Sea. He presented this statement at the Seminar on South China Sea: Code of Conduct as a Tool for Conflict Resolution.

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Cdr Ang Chin Hup (R) speaking at the Seminar on South China Sea: Code of Conduct as a Tool for Conflict Resolution.

The seminar was hosted by WorldFuture, a non-governmental organisation dedicated to anti-war and peace activism around the world. Besides Cdr Ang, invited speakers include Emeritus Professor Carlyle A. Thayer, Visiting Fellow at the School of Humanities and Social Sciences of the University of New South Wales, and Mr. Bunn Nagara, Senior Fellow of ISIS Malaysia.

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Cdr Ang Chin Hup (R) with speakers Emeritus Professor Carlyle A. Thayer of the University of New South Wales and Mr. Bunn Nagara, Senior Fellow of ISIS Malaysia.

To elaborate on Cdr Ang’s point, the RCEP is an economic initiative led by ASEAN which includes other countries, namely China, South Korea, Australia, Japan, and New Zealand. If materialised, the RCEP would be the world's largest trade pact by Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and population. Cdr Ang stressed that as ASEAN and China continue to work on the South China Sea’s Code of Conduct (CoC), the RCEP could shift the region's attention towards economic growth. As the South China Sea is a region of economic growth, this trade agreement is crucial en route to every country, including China, working towards prosperity and peace in the region.

Meanwhile, according to Professor Carlyle, the South China Sea is an area of interest for many countries, therefore as the CoC had completed its first reading of the Single Draft Negotiating Text, considerations will need to be made on how to include third parties using the area for trade shipments. He stated that to avoid third parties from violating any part of the CoC, ASEAN and China will need the document as a legal instrument, and ratify them into their legislations.

The seminar attracted many diplomats from the foreign embassies in Kuala Lumpur, the Royal Malaysian Navy, scholars, researchers, and the media – all the parties interested in conflict resolution for the territorial disputes involving Brunei, China, Malaysia, Taiwan, the Philippines, and Vietnam. MIMA was represented by researchers Norsyihan bt Jamal and Muhammad Rozif Roslan.

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Participants at the Seminar on South China Sea: Code of Conduct as a Tool for Conflict Resolution.  

The talks by Cdr Ang and Professor Thayer on the South China Sea’s conflict resolution were featured in the Bernama and local social media as well as broadcasted on Bernama English News on 13 January 2020. MIMA expresses its gratitude to the organiser, WorldFuture for the opportunity to expound on South China Sea issues through the seminar.

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Emeritus Professor Carlyle A. Thayer and Cdr Ang Chin Hup (R) on  Bernama English News on 13 January 2020

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