Tag Archive for territorial integrity

China’s Assertion of Sovereign Authority in the Global Commons and the Escalation of Legal Warfare in the Arctic

“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.”[1]  Li Zhenfu

Topic

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.[2]  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.[3] The undeveloped resources are located almost exclusively in the legal territorial waters of Arctic states like Russia, Denmark, the United States and Canada.[4] These states have already made credible territorial claims to the United Nations and are prepared to protect their interests militarily if necessary.[5] 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.[6]   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.[7] Read more

Engaging the Dragon Through Peaceful Deterrence: Japan’s Need to Recalibrate Its Strategy of Accommodation with China

“Engaging the Dragon Through Peaceful Deterrence: Japan’s Need to Recalibrate Its Strategy of Accommodation with China” by Kapok Tree Diplomacy

© Kapok Tree Diplomacy. Oct 2012. All rights reserved. Jeff Dwiggins. 

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Theoretical Framework

The grand strategies and values of Japan and China will be evaluated from a “Balance of Threat” and “Defensive Realism” theoretical framework.  This essay posits that given China’s rise and Japan’s moment of opportunity to counter, it is important to gauge the feasibility of a values-based concert of democracies within this theoretical framework. Stephen Walt argues that states tend to balance or bandwagon with a rising power depending on their assessment of the perceived threat.[1] Japan’s past, present and future behavior towards China is thus assessed within the parameters of defensive realism which point to Japanese formation of strategic alliances to deal with the anarchy and security dilemma that characterize the international system and create uncertainty of intentions and inadvertent mistrust and conflict.[2] Read more

Why the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) Doctrine Is Incompatible with the Principles of National Sovereignty and Domestic Jurisdiction Found in International Law

“Why the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) Doctrine is Incompatible with the Legal Principles of National Sovereignty and Domestic Jurisdiction” by Kapok Tree Diplomacy

(C) Kapok Tree Diplomacy. April 2011. All rights reserved.  PREVIEW

Section One – Origins and Core Principles of R2P

Report of the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty (ICISS) (2001)

State sovereignty has been defined as, “the rightful entitlement to exclusive, unqualified, and supreme rule within a delimited territory” (Smith, Baylis & Owens 25). But when, where and how may that legitimate and authoritative ‘rightful entitlement’ be challenged? UNSG Annan noted in a 1999 Press Release (SG/SM/7136, GA 9596), “State sovereignty, in its most basic sense, is being redefined by the forces of globalization and international cooperation” (qtd. in Dunoff, Ratner & Wippman 954). It is against this backdrop of rapidly changing international legal perspectives on state sovereignty that the ICISS makes its case. Read more

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