“China’s Assertion of Sovereign Authority in the Global Commons and the Escalation of Legal Warfare in the Arctic” by Jeff Dwiggins
© Kapok Tree Diplomacy. June 2013. All rights reserved. Jeff Dwiggins. PREVIEW
“After the Northwest Passage is opened up … the sea route between Europe, Asia, and North America will be shortened by 5,200 to 7,000 nautical miles. Whoever controls the Arctic sea route will control the world economy and a new internationally strategic corridor.” Li Zhenfu
Competition among Arctic states is heating up over access to the Arctic’s undiscovered but potentially vast deposits of oil, natural gas and rare earth minerals. Moreover, the diminishing thickness and range of sea ice that could eventually make the Northern Sea Route significantly more accessible for cheaper and faster transoceanic shipping has also attracted the geopolitical interest of several non-Arctic states, most notably China. The undeveloped resources are located almost exclusively in the legal territorial waters of Arctic states like Russia, Denmark, the United States and Canada. These states have already made credible territorial claims to the United Nations and are prepared to protect their interests militarily if necessary. So how will China assert its rights and interests in the Arctic without getting into a military conflict?
This essay will examine how China will redefine the Clausewitzian battlefield and utilize legal warfare (sometimes called lawfare) as an “offensive weapon” to “seize the political initiative” and shape international public opinion about the Arctic and sovereign territorial claims through non-military means, negotiations, diplomacy and international law to project power and accomplish its core national strategic objectives. It will examine China’s use of legal warfare as a preferred strategy for addressing critical challenges to China’s assertion of rights and interests in the Arctic, including the competing sovereignty and territorial claims by Arctic states and the risks, costs and uncertainty of harvesting the resources themselves. Read more
Blind Man’s Bluff: Kazakhstan’s Mirage of Compliance with International Obligations to Uphold the Freedom of Expression and Freedom of Assembly and Association
“Blind Man’s Bluff: Kazakhstan’s Mirage of Compliance with International Obligations to Uphold the Freedom of Expression and Freedom of Assembly and Association” by Kapok Tree Diplomacy
© Kapok Tree Diplomacy. May 2011. All rights reserved. Jeff Dwiggins.
Section One – The Right to Freedom of Expression
ICCPR Principles and Obligations. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), though not legally binding, declares that “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression … and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers” (Art. 19).The ICCPR, which Kazakhstan ratified in 2006 (UN Treaty Collection), expands upon this definition and binds state parties “in accordance with its terms and with international law” (Steiner, Alston and Goodman (SAG) 152). Treaty obligations are to be governed by the Vienna Convention’s Article 26 fundamental principle of pacta sunt servanda which states, “[e]very treaty in force is binding upon the parties to it and must be performed by them in good faith” (Dunoff, Ratner & Wippman (DRW) 58). Article 19 of the ICCPR declares: Read more