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China

East China Sea: Preventing Clashes from Becoming Crises

Asia Report N°280, 30 June 2016

Chinese marine surveillance ship Haijian No. 51 (C) sails near Japan Coast Guard vessels (R and L) and a Japanese fishing boat (front 2nd L) as Uotsuri island, one of the disputed islands, called Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China, is background, in the East China Sea in this photo taken by Kyodo July 1, 2013. Japan faces increasingly serious threats to its security from an assertive China and an unpredictable North Korea, a defence ministry report said on Tuesday, as ruling politicians call for the military to beef up its ability to respond to such threats. Picture taken July 1, 2013. Mandatory Credit. REUTERS/Kyodo

Dangerous aerial and naval encounters are rising as China and Japan spar over disputed islands in the East China Sea. A promising reconciliation process has floundered. To prevent an accident tipping the dispute into open hostility, both sides urgently need a credible crisis management protocol to insulate any negotiations from their broader rivalry.

Recent Reports

East China Sea: Preventing Clashes from Becoming Crises, Asia Report N°280, 30 Jun 2016

Dangerous aerial and naval encounters are rising as China and Japan spar over disputed islands in the East China Sea. A promising reconciliation process has floundered. To prevent an accident tipping the dispute into open hostility, both sides urgently need a credible crisis management protocol to insulate any negotiations from their broader rivalry.

Stirring up the South China Sea (IV): Oil in Troubled Waters , Asia Report N°275, 26 Jan 2016

The race for hydrocarbon reserves in the South China Sea is aggravating conflicting territorial claims. The regional players need cooperation, yet have increasingly open confrontations at sea. For peaceful joint energy development, all parties need to stop acting unilaterally and do more to understand the others’ goals and limitations.

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Stirring up the South China Sea (III): A Fleeting Opportunity for Calm, Asia Report N°267, 7 May 2015

The South China Sea is the cockpit of geopolitics in East Asia, and growing tensions pose a serious threat to stability in the region. China and ASEAN must take advantage of the currently favourable environment to establish new codes of crisis management, especially at sea, to withstand any new conflicts.

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Old Scores and New Grudges: Evolving Sino-Japanese Tensions, Asia Report N°258, 24 Jul 2014

The deterioration in relations between China and Japan has spiraled beyond an island sovereignty dispute and risks an armed conflict neither wants. A November regional summit is a fence-mending opportunity – if the two countries’ leaders rise above nationalism and manage multiple flashpoints.

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Fire on the City Gate: Why China Keeps North Korea Close, Asia Report N°254, 9 Dec 2013

North Korea’s belligerent behaviour is testing the patience of China, its principal backer, but a consequential Chinese policy change, which the U.S. and its allies hope for, is not likely soon. 中文

Dangerous Waters: China-Japan Relations on the Rocks, Asia Report N°245, 8 Apr 2013

China and Japan must begin talks on crisis prevention and mitigation regarding the disputed waters of the East China Sea to avoid an accidental clash that could lead to a larger conflict. 

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China’s Central Asia Problem, Asia Report N°244, 27 Feb 2013

China’s influence is growing rapidly in Central Asia at a time when the region is looking increasingly unstable.

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Stirring up the South China Sea (II): Regional Responses, Asia Report N°229, 24 Jul 2012

The long-simmering South China Sea dispute is doomed to escalate if the countries contesting its waters fail to take steps to reduce tensions.

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Stirring up the South China Sea (I), Asia Report N°223, 23 Apr 2012

China is one of its own worst enemies in the South China Sea, as its local governments and agencies struggle for power and money, inflaming tensions with its neighbours, illustrated by Beijing’s latest standoff with the Philippines.

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China and Inter-Korean Clashes in the Yellow Sea, Asia Report N°200, 27 Jan 2011

China is undermining its own security interests by downplaying North Korea’s deadly provocations in the Yellow Sea.

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