Seminar: Southeast Asia’s Responses to the Arbitral Tribunal Award on the South China Sea


About the Seminar

On 12 July 2016, the Arbitral Tribunal in The Hague announced its award on the Philippines’ submission on its South China Sea dispute with China. The Tribunal ruled mostly in favour of the Philippines.  The ruling has led China to embark on a two-pronged approach of ignoring the ruling and going on an intense diplomatic and media offensive to reiterate its claims in the disputed waters. As such, there is no end in sight to the tensions in one of the most strategically vital waterways of the world, including for the Southeast Asian states that surround the South China Sea.

The Philippines and Vietnam have overlapping claims with each other and with China, whereas Indonesia has had to fend off Chinese fishing vessels in its EEZ near the Natuna Islands. This seminar will discuss the responses to the award by these three states and seek to assess what lies ahead.

About the Speakers

Richard Javad Heydarian is an Assistant Professor in political science at De La Salle University, and, most recently, the author of “Asia’s New Battlefield: US, China, and the Struggle for Western Pacific” (Zed, London). He is an Opinion Writer for Aljazeera English, and a regular contributor to Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative of the Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS). The Manila Bulletin, a leading national daily, has described him as one of the Philippines’ “foremost foreign affairs and economic analysts”. He has contributed to global think tanks such as Brookings Institution and Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), and has written for or/and interviewed by ABC, BBC, Bloomberg, CNN, CNBC, Christian Science Monitor, Foreign Affairs, The Guardian, The Economist, The Financial Times, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Der Spiegel, The Straits Times, The Nation, among other major publications. He is currently working on a book on “Obama’s Asia policy” (Palgrave, Macmillan).

Le Hong Hiep is Fellow at ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute. Hiep earned his PhD in Politics from the University of New South Wales in 2015. Before becoming an academic, he worked for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Vietnam from 2004 to 2006. Hiep’s scholarly articles and analyses have been published in Contemporary Southeast Asia, Asian Politics & Policy, Southeast Asian Affairs, Korean Journal of Defence Analysis, ASPI Strategic Insights, American Review, and The Diplomat.

Evan A Laksmana is a Senior Researcher at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), Jakarta, where he coordinates the Military, State, and Society research cluster. He is also a PhD candidate at Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. His writings on defense and foreign policy has appeared in Asian Security, Contemporary Southeast Asia, Journal of the Indian Ocean Region, Defence Studies, Journal of Strategic Studies, Foreign Affairs, Washington Post, Jakarta Post, and others. He tweets at @EvanLaksmana

For registration, please fill in this form and email to by 22 August 2016.


Aug 23 2016


10:00 am - 12:00 pm


ISEAS Seminar Room 2