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Law of the Sea and the U.S. Election

A China in the World Podcast

The South China Sea has been a central point of tension in the U.S.-China relationship under the Obama administration. In this podcast, Paul Haenle speaks with John Bellinger, the most senior international lawyer in the George W. Bush administration, about the implications of the July international tribunal ruling in the Philippines vs. China case, and why the United States is not a party to the law of the sea convention despite support from consecutive bipartisan administrations.

Conversation

10.25.16

How Many U.S. Allies Can China Turn?

Zhang Baohui, Richard J. Heydarian & more
Rodrigo Duterte, President of the Philippines since June, visited China this week and signaled his interest in shifting Manila’s allegiance away from Washington toward Beijing. While his predecessor sued China in an international court to contest...

Bellinger, now a partner at Arnold & Porter, also offered his thoughts on the U.S. presidential election. He said that the threat of terrorism from actors such as the self-proclaimed Islamic State, an increasingly assertive Russia in Europe and Syria, and developments in the North Korean nuclear program will be among the top foreign policy priorities for the next U.S. administration. Bellinger noted that if elected, Hillary Clinton would be one of the best prepared U.S. executives to manage relations with China, and could be expected to push the Chinese government on trade issues, given the growing discontent in the United States over asymmetries in the economic relationship. A Trump administration, on the other hand, presents many more uncertainties for the U.S.-China relationship given the candidate’s lack of policy experience or well-known advisors.

Conversation

07.12.16

China’s Claims in the South China Sea Rejected

Andrew S. Erickson, Peter Dutton & more
On Tuesday in the Hague, the Permanent Court of Arbitration rejected China’s claims that a scattering of rocks and reefs in the contested South China Sea qualify as Exclusive Economic Zones for China. The court found in favor of the Philippines’...