Comparative Connections v.14 n.3 - China-Southeast Asia
January 14, 2013
China’s efforts to maintain recent gains and further strengthen its South China Sea maritime territorial claims dominated relations during the final months of 2012. Aggressive patrols by Maritime Safety Administration and fishing fleets along with diplomatic initiatives and administrative measures were supported by Chinese media commentary that emphasized patriotism and the validity of China’s sovereignty claims. Several high-level exchanges emphasized the promise of increased beneficial relations for those who support or acquiesce to Chinese territorial claims. ASEAN remained in disarray and the prospect for moving forward on a binding code of conduct in the South China Sea seemed unlikely.