- June 29, 2015
-- On Monday afternoon, June 29, 2015, the South China Sea Think Tank (SCSTT) hosted an “Official Launch Event and Seminar” to promote the public release of its website at http://www.scstw.org. SCSTT is a new kind of think tank dedicated to promoting dialogue, research, and education about the ongoing maritime territorial disputes in the South China Sea. The institution brings together scholars, government and military officials, and postgraduate students from over twenty countries.
At the event, the invited experts’ discussions focused primarily on the Philippines–
China arbitration case and ongoing land reclamation activities on the disputed islands—a reflection of the highest-profile issues in the South China Sea today. Beginning on July 7, the arbitral tribunal at the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) based in The Hague is set to hear the Philippines’
oral arguments. Dr. Yann-Huei Song, a renowned legal expert and Research Fellow at Academia Sinica, remarked that the court’s subsequent decision could mark the beginning of the next phase in the South China Sea disputes. Dr. Kuan-Hsiung Wang of National Taiwan Normal University also noted that the Vietnam government’s response to the recent news that Beijing intends to return its Haiyang Shiyou 981 mobile oil rig to the disputed waters would likely be more cautious than that of last year, when the government was unable to quell anti-Chinese protests that ended destroying non-Chinese businesses and factories from countries throughout East Asia. Retired ROC Navy Captain Tiehlin Yen highlighted the differing interpretations of the “status quo,” a term used by many to challenge Chinese activities in the region, suggesting that without an agreed-upon understanding of what the status quo is, the term becomes meaningless. Dr. Paul S.P. Hsu, President of the Epoch foundation, sought to encourage the seminar participants and member of the South China Sea Think Tank to further collaborate with countries around the region on finding constructive solutions to the disputes.
Founded in 2013, the South China Sea Think Tank was initially developed under the auspices of the Institute of International Relations (IIR) in Taipei, Taiwan. Since its founding, SCSTT has attracted interest from influential organizations involved in South China Sea research in many countries. It serves as a platform for collaboration between diverse and committed institutions and individuals from academic and policy circles around the world.
The new South China Sea Think Tank website (http://scstw.org/
) seeks to provide policy analyses and reference information about the South China Sea disputes. Through its two featured publications, the SCSTT encourages contributions from a diversity of perspectives. Issue Briefings provide concise summaries of key South China Sea issues with references to relevant in-depth research. They serve as a starting point for researchers, journalists, and others interested in the South China Sea maritime territorial disputes. Perspectives incorporate the diverse viewpoints of different actors and individuals on key issues related to the South China Sea.
The “Official Launch Event and Seminar” took place at the Institute of International Relations, New Briefing Room, in Taipei, Taiwan. Experts on the maritime territorial disputes and other key figures that participated in the event included Fu-kuo Liu, Executive Director of the Center for Security Studies; Ming Lee, Dean of the College of International Affairs at National Chengchi University; Paul S.P. Hsu, President of the Epoch Foundation; Yann-Huei Song, Research Fellow with the Institute of European and American Studies at Academia Sinica; Kuan-Hsiung Wang, Professor with the Graduate Institute of Political Science at National Taiwan Normal University; Capt. Tielin Yen, retired Captain of the ROC Navy and Deputy Executive Director of the Center for Security Studies at the Institute of International Relations; and William Vocke, Executive Director of Fulbright Taiwan.
For more information about the South China Sea Think Tank, please contact Jonathan Spangler by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call +886 927 727 325.