Columbia International Affairs Online: Policy Briefs

CIAO DATE: 12/2012

South China Sea: Core Interest Extraordinaire

Martin A Sebastian

July 2012

Maritime Institute of Malaysia


China's powerful Central Military Commission has approved the formal establishment of a military garrison for the disputed South China Sea, the state media has announced, a move which could further boost tensions in already fractious region. This news comes after China established the city of Sansha, on 21 June as a rhetoric to Vietnam’s Maritime Law announcement on the same day. Vietnam’s Maritime Law which reportedly takes effect early 2013, forms a legal framework to serve the utilisation, management and protection of Vietnam’s sea and islands, including the Paracels and Spratlys, as well as the development of sea-borne economy, so as to facilitate it’s international integration and boost cooperation with other countries.