The following article was published in the May 2023 issue of the International Review of Contemporary Law, the journal of the IADL.
Along with recent fluctuations in international relations, the South China Sea (East Sea) plays an increasingly important role in bridging the Indian and Pacific oceans, promoting the recovery of economic and social development after the Covid-19 pandemic, continuing to contribute to marine and ocean biodiversity, securing seafood sources and incomes to feed millions of people in various communities adjacent to the South China Sea, and promoting other economic sectors related to seas and oceans. On the other hand, the South China Sea also continues to face many difficulties and challenges such as the increasingly complicated climate change situation, the increasing rate of smuggling and piracy in some areas during the pandemic, difficulties in the maritime transportation and rising costs which make the supply chain through the South China Sea somewhat broken…
Regarding the disputes over sovereignty in the South China Sea, the situation continues to be complicated with relevant parties continuing to put pressure and reclaim the features in the South China Sea, calling for support for their positions…, the Covid-19 complicated developments and restrictions on travel and meetings between the parties, countries outside the region also continue to express high interests in the development of the Asia-Pacific in general and the situation in the South China Sea in particular… Basically, countries continue to push the parties to refrain from conflicts, have peaceful settlement of disputes in compliance with the provisions of the international law of the sea, including the 1982 United Nation Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). The countries also expressed their interest in many forms such as issuing joint statements, sending notes, expressing concern about the Code of Conduct (COC) negotiation situation…
International Association of Democratic Lawyers (IADL) has actively contributed to the peaceful settlement of the disputes in the South China Sea and has organized three international conferences from 2017 to 2019 in order to shed more light on the South China Sea situation and its implications on the international law. After 3 years of hiatus due to the Covid-19 epidemic, the 2022 conference in Moscow is an important opportunity for scholars to re-evaluate the development situation in the South China Sea over the years, the risks to the region and the world from militarization activities in the South China Sea and affecting freedom of navigation and overflight as well as the lack of effective measures by countries to improve the situation here. Among the quite comprehensive solutions mentioned, compliance with 1982 UNCLOS and respect for the 2016 Arbitral Tribunal’s Award continues to be highly appreciated.
The fourth IADL international conference on the South China Sea in 2022 continued to aim at obtaining a clear picture of the situation in the South China Sea during and after the Covid-19 from the perspectives of parties in and out of the region; in the meantime gathering ideas/suggestions to contribute to calming down the situation and slowly settling the dispute in a peaceful way in accordance with international law. The actual situation in the South China Sea in general, as well as the assurance of maritime security in particular, requires countries to continue their efforts for the goal of building a peaceful and secure South China Sea region; further strengthen international cooperation to promote compliance with the law and maintain a rules-based order and peaceful negotiation.
In this issue of the Review, the Editorial Board presents selected articles, speeches and reports from the 2022 conference “Disputes in the South China Sea and the need to strengthen international cooperation” in Moscow.
All articles published in the International Review of Contemporary Law reflect only the position of their author and not the position of the journal, nor of the International Association of Democratic Lawyers.