Duterte changes the South China Sea tone (Graeme Dobell)
Rodrigo Duterte is a maddening, murderous maverick who’s achieved a weird feat in the South China Sea (SCS)—delivering benefits to both China and the United States. His swing towards China offers Beijing all sorts of goodies, from the possibility of a bilateral deal in the SCS to a chance to unbalance the US rebalance.
Colombia’s president sells the skin before catching the bear (Cesar Alvarez)
This year won’t only be remembered by who gets elected to the Oval Office. It’ll also be known as the year the Colombian public rejected a hard-fought peace deal with the leftist guerrilla group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).
The rules of extraction: Australia and the Timor Sea (Elisabeth Buchan)
On 19 September, Timor-Leste won a minor victory in its ongoing dispute with Australia over rights to resources in the Timor Sea. The UN Conciliation Commission, convened under the Annex V conciliation proceedings of UN Convention of the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), rejected Australia’s bid to block proceedings.
In September 2016, Russia and China started their routine naval drill, ‘Joint Sea-2016’, off the coast of China’s Guangdong province. This was the fifth joint naval drill between the two nations since 2012, but the first to take place in the South China Sea. The decision to carry out this exercise in the South China Sea was announced after The Hague ruling in July, which China has strongly rejected.
International law has had its go at the waters of the South China Sea, and what a magnificent splash.