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Mediation the key to solve disputes in South China Sea – U.S. Pacific Fleet Chief

Asia / China / World / November 23, 2015

James T. Areddy, in the China Real Time section of The Wall Street Journal, reported that Admiral Scott Swift the commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet said that international mediation was the best way to reduce tension over the disputed islands in the South China Sea

Admiral Swift made his comments during his first-ever visit to China on a relationship-building tour to meet his counterparts with the People’s Liberation Army Navy.

According to Admiral Swift, the lack of transparency in the territorial claims by China, Vietnam, Taiwan and the Philippines regarding the disputed islands is leading to confusion on the legal basis of the claims.  This confusion would be best settled with the help of an international body, such as a United Nation-backed tribunal.

http://blogs.wsj.com/chinarealtime/2015/11/17/u-s-pacific-fleet-chief-backs-manilas-call-for-mediation-in-south-china-sea/

 

 











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5 Comments

on December 15, 2015

US Admiral Scott’s view on finding a solution to the dispute over the Spratly islands between China and the neighbouring countries through the use of mediation is worthy for deeper reflections.
The current flexing of military muscles by China with the constructions of various infrastructures on those islands can only aggravate the already tense situation. The beefing up of the Philippines navy is not helping to reduce tension either nor conducive for an early resolution of the dispute.

What may be worthy of further reflection would be to identify an acceptable mediator or mediators that command/s the respect of the warring parties and on a platform that is acceptable by all. The fundamental purpose and need for such monumental effort should be base on the great desire for peace and stability in this region and all other vested interest if any should take a back seat.

All players with a desire to promote peace and the effective management of conflict be it in the resolution of trivial community disputes to disputes between nations should come forward with constructive suggestions to help resolve this seemingly intractable dispute. Like all disputes throughout history there is a beginning and an ending.It is the in between that causes massive sufferings; that only in later years to realize that the struggle and fighting were not really justified in hindsight.

    on December 16, 2015

    That is a great insight Hughie. Mediation has proven to an effective way to solve international conflicts in the past. We can only home that a neutral nation or even an international body steps forward to serve as a mediator in the Spratly disputes.

on December 17, 2015

It does not require too much research to understandable why China refuses to partake in arbitration proceedings. Further the wise and insightful realised that this problem stand no chance of being resolved militarily. The flexing of military muscles at best may add a bit of advantage at the negotiating table at worse a poor display of brinkmanship. Admiral Scott must be an insightful man to have realised that a solution must come from mediation. Not just simply mediation per se. The difficulty lies in not just the ability of the mediators concern but more the ability or skillfulness of the convener/s to bring the protagonists to the table.

China must be also realise that a satisfactory and livable lasting solution cannot be achieved through threats and force. The question is if the UN sponsored tribunal to arbitrate is rejected what hope is there for lesser body to suggest or sponsor.

Perhaps a body or organisation staffed with men and women of impeccable integrity on a completely neutral platform with no vested interest and not hidebound by legalism except the concern for the stability of this region is what is needed at this hour.

on January 25, 2016

The earlier commentators had suggested a completely neutral platform to help the disputing parties come forward to dialogue instead of flexing their military muscles. Can anyone suggest such a platform?

    on January 25, 2016

    The earlier commentators had suggested a completely neutral platform to help the disputing parties come forward to dialogue instead of flexing their military muscles. Can anyone suggest such a platform?



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