South China Sea Current Affairs - 2019

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Japan and China hold first security talks after 4 years

Japan and China on 19 March 2015 held their first security talks in Tokyo after four years since the ties had worsened over a row over islands in the East China Sea.

In the security talks both nations agreed to keep alive and foster a nascent recovery in bilateral ties plagued by the legacy of Japan’s wartime aggression and a territorial dispute.

However, both nations failed to set a timetable for the implementation of a scheme designed to ensure real-time communication between their armed forces.

Background of East China Sea dispute

  • Sino-Japanese relations had worsened after China had claimed its rights over the group of tiny East China Sea islets.
  • The islets comprises group of eight uninhabited islands and rocks. They have a total area of about 7 sq km in China Sea and are controlled by Japan.
  • These islets are close to strategically important shipping lanes in this region and also offer rich fishing grounds. The region surrounding these islets is also thought to contain oil deposits.
  • China claims that these islets have been part of its territory since ancient times. While, Taiwan separately is also claiming its right the islands.

Month: Categories: International


China rejects UN mediation to resolve South China Sea dispute with Philippines

China has rejected UN arbitration to resolve the South China Sea (SCS) maritime dispute with its Philippines. China instead has asserted that this maritime dispute should be settled through direct bilateral negotiations.

China’s rejection comes before the deadline to respond to UN mediation sought by the Philippines to arbitrate its maritime dispute with China over the South China Sea.

China has alleged that Philippines is attempting to resolve the dispute through “compulsory arbitration” by the UN Convention on Law of the Seas (UNCLOS), without exercising the option to settle it through direct talks.

China’s approach to UN’s mediation of border disputes

  • China has claimed that they have settled its land boundary disputes with almost all of its neighbours (except India and Bhutan) and has delimited its maritime boundary in Beibu Bay with Vietnam.
  • In this case, China has mentioned that they are defending their sovereign right to choose a means of dispute settlement of its free will.
  • China has even alleged that the Philippines is misusing “compulsory arbitration” to resolve this dispute.


In 2013, Philippines had approached the UN, questioning China’s claims to the Spratly islands (called Nansha islands by China) and the waters around them. UN Arbitral Tribunal appointed to deal with the case had asked China to submit its counter-memorial before 15th December 2014.

Month: Categories: International