Zhou Bo at 15th South China Sea International Conference in Vietnam



The 15th South China Sea International Conference, themed “Luminate the Grey, Light up the Green,” was held in Ho Chi Minh City on October 25-26. The conference explored great power competition, the current state of the South China Sea, the role of coast guards in fostering cooperation, and emerging issues such as critical minerals and sustainable energy transition. Senior Colonel Zhou Bo (ret.), senior fellow at Tsinghua University’s Center for International Security and Strategy and a China Forum expert, delivered a keynote speech on “Global Great Power Competition and the South China Sea.”


China has never threatened to use force in addressing the South China Sea disputes; instead, it has signed the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea with ASEAN and is in the process of negotiating a code of conduct in the South China Sea, said Zhou. He added that the situation in the South China Sea is currently manageable, and its biggest threats come from outside, as the US challenges the maritime rights of the bordering countries in the name of freedom of navigation and the Philippines allows the former to use its military bases.


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