Nguyen, An Ha
Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences (VASS)
Individual Project :

The ASEAN Way and MSD (Maritime Sovereignty Dispute) between ASEAN Countries and China

The ASEAN integration process which has took place slowly and progressively is now pushed faster. According to the plan, by 2015, ASEAN will be the “ASEAN Community”. However, the operational principles of ASEAN (ASEAN way) still keep the special character of the area. ASEAN way is a combination of "soft" institutions (including norms, rules, regulations, policymaking processes etc...), which is non-legal based on two main pillars (non-intervention and consensus). Although it was considered as successful region-cooperation way, it now seems not enough power to deal with disputes and conflicts in the coming two decades.

These challenges include:  (i) the shifting balance of power in the Asia Pacific region, triggered mainly, if not exclusively, by the dramatic rise of the People’s Republic of China (PRC); (2) the persistence of intra-ASEAN territorial conflicts; (3) the territorial dispute in the East Sea, which is a critical factor in PRC–ASEAN relations; (4) the programs of military modernizations undertaken by ASEAN states and the resulting prospects for an intra-ASEAN arms race; (5) uncertainty and strife caused by demands for domestic political change;  (6) and the dangers posed by transnational (non-traditional) security threats. One of the serious challenges in ASEAN region, the Maritime Sovereignty Dispute (MSD) in the East Sea area relates to four ASEAN countries and China, will be focused to analyze in the research.

The Project focus on:

1.       Analyzing dispute issues and resolving conflict challenges in ASEAN nations related to maritime sovereignty disputes in the near future based on investigating literature and historical documents about the declarations and the regulations of ASEAN;

2.      Analyzing the role of ASEAN in resolving its maritime sovereignty disputes between Asean members and China, especially emphasize the “ASEAN way”;

3.      Proposing Conflict Resolution Mechanism in ASEAN, which might need to be integrated in a “New ASEAN way”.