Making Waves: Contested Waters in the South China Sea

Event: October 4, 2016, San Francisco

Organized in Partnership with the RAND Corporation and the UC Berkeley IEAS

Photo/Flickr user salehi hassan


Tue October 4, 2016
4:30pm – 7:30pm
ASNC, Bechtel Conference Center
500 Washington St, San Francisco

Competing territorial claims in the South China Sea continue to be a major flashpoint in the Asia-Pacific region. Countries at the heart of this dispute—China, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei, and the Philippines—have made little progress in achieving a diplomatic solution and the threat of direct conflict is ever-present. The United States has also waded into the dispute, with the hope that it can help avert a major crisis in the region. While the recent ruling handed down by the Hague provides a legal footing in the dispute, enforcing the decision is nearly impossible.

The Asia Foundation is pleased to be a co-sponsor of a two-panel conference presented by ASNC, the RAND Corporation, and UC Berkeley’s Institute of East Asian Studies that will look more closely at the foreign policies of the claimant countries in the region, examine what is driving the national interest of these Asian actors, and explore how these tensions are influencing political and social currents at home. The conference will also look at current and possible diplomatic, legal, and political efforts to resolve the tensions and examine the critical roles of the U.S. and China in the dispute.

Panel I: Surveying Asia’s Domestic Landscape

David D. Arnold, President, The Asia Foundation (moderator)
Yann-huei Song, Research Fellow, Institute of European and American Studies, Academia Sinica (Taiwan)
Maria Ortuoste, Associate Professor, Political Science, CSU East Bay
Thomas B. Gold, Professor of Sociology, UC Berkeley

Panel 2: Defusing Tensions over the South China Seas

Donald K. Emmerson, Director, Southeast Asia Program, Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center, Stanford University
Henry S. Bensurto, Jr., Consul General, Philippine Consulate General of San Francisco
Rafiq Dossani, Director, Center for Asia-Pacific Policy, RAND Corporation
Orville Schell, Arthur Ross Director, Center on U.S.-China Relations, Asia Society
N. Bruce Pickering, Vice President, Global Programs, Asia Society (moderator)

Program Agenda:
4:00—4:30 P.M. Registration
4:30—6:00 P.M. Panel 1: Surveying Asia’s Domestic Landscape
6:00—6:15 P.M. Coffee Break
6:15—7:30 P.M. Panel 2: Defusing Tensions over the South China Sea
7:30—8:00 P.M. Networking Reception

Organized in Partnership with:

Rand Corporation and UC Berkeley Institute for East Asian Studies

Promotional Co-sponsors: The Asia Foundation; Southeast Asia Program, Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center, Stanford University

Purchase tickets to the event.

Related locations: San Francisco
Related topics: Water

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