research / Research reports

CAG-ACRI South China Sea Conference Report

May 09 2017

On February 10-11 2017 the Australia-China Relations Institute (ACRI) at the University of Technology Sydney in collaboration with the Centre on Asia and Globalisation at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore co-hosted a conference on the South China Sea (SCS).

The South China Sea dispute not only involves ASEAN, regional states, and China but also the worlds major powers, including Japan, India, Russia, and the United States. The conference’s focus was on why and how these major powers – all considered ‘user states’ – are engaged in the discord, what the stakes are, and how their involvement is effecting the stability and strategic balance in the Asia Pacific. The conference analysed the approaches, roles, policies, and impact of the user states (China, Japan, India, Australia, and the United States) in the on-going dispute. 

Key regional and global challenges arising from the SCS dispute were explored over six panels. Panel one provided a strategic review of the South China Sea dispute and differing perspectives of the regional strategic balance, and examined how the dispute has become an arena for the major powers to engage each other. Panel two analysed the SCS through the perspectives of the major powers: the US, China, and Japan. Panel three examined the range of perspectives from other major user states, including India, Russia, and ASEAN. Panel four addressed the critical importance of the SCS in international politics, and examined the impact of US-China relations on other regional actors and organisations. Panel five examined US-China relations through the lens of major regional actors, including ASEAN, Australia and Japan. Panel six analysed possible mechanisms to ameliorate tensions, differing forms of effective management, and potential solutions to SCS disputes.

Download the full conference report here.

Report authors: Simone van Nieuwenhuizen, Project and Research Support Officer, and Elena Collinson, Senior Project and Research Officer, Australia-China Relations Institute, University of Technology Sydney. 

Report editor: Blake Harley Berger, Research Associate, Centre on Asia and Globalisation, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore.

 

Presenters (in order of appearance)

Professor the Hon. Bob Carr, Director, Australia-China Relations Institute, University of Technology Sydney

Professor Huang Jing, Lee Foundation Professor on US-China Relations; Director, Centre on Asia and Globalisation, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore

Professor Evelyn Goh, Shedden Professor of Strategic Policy Studies, College of Asia and the Pacific, Australian National University

Dr Mira Rapp-Hooper, Senior Fellow, Center for a New American Security

Dr Liu Qing, Director, Asian Pacific Department, China Institute of International Studies

Dr Liu Yawei, Director, China Program, The Carter Center

Mr Gregory Poling, Director, Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative, Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS)

Dr Lu Yin, Associate Researcher, National Defense University, China

Dr Kei Koga, Assistant Professor, Public Policy and Global Affairs Programme, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Nanyang Technological University (NTU)

Dr Tan See Seng, Professor of International Relations and Deputy Director and Head of Research of the Institute of Defence and Strategic Studies, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang Technological University

Dr Alexander Korolev, Research Fellow, Centre on Asia and Globalisation, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore

Mr Blake Harley Berger, Research Associate, Centre on Asia and Globalisation, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore on behalf of Professor Kanti Prasad Bajpai, Wilmar Professor on Asian Studies, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore

Professor Carlyle Thayer, Emeritus Professor of Politics, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of New South Wales Canberra at the Australian Defence Force Academy

Ms Darshana Baruah, Research Analyst, Carnegie India

Dr Alexey D Muraviev, Professor, Head of Social Sciences and Security Studies, Curtin University

Dr John Blaxland, Professor, Strategic and Defence Studies Centre, ANU College of Asia and the Pacific, Australian National University

Dr Bonji Ohara, Director, Policy Research, The Tokyo Foundation

Dr Hong Nong, Executive Director and Senior Fellow, Institute for China–America Studies

Dr Sam Bateman, Professorial Research Fellow, the Australian National Centre for Ocean Resources and Security (ANCORS), the University of Wollongong, Australia

Observers 

Ms Elena Collinson, Senior Project and Research Officer, Australia-China Relations Institute, University of Technology Sydney

Ms Jenny Li Jie, Research Associate, Centre on Asia and Globalisation, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore

Ms Simone van Nieuwenhuizen, Project and Research Support Officer, Australia-China Relations Institute, University of Technology Sydney