Not long ago, the situation in the South China Sea was warming up again. A string of high-level bilateral meetings has recently held between China, the US and the Philippines, and senior leaders from all sides have recommended to avoiding conflict while acknowledging there are continuing regional risks. What encouraging was that a common picture of the most volatile flashpoints in the South China Sea had developed among these leaders.
In the first South China Sea Hotpot Identification and Evaluation Dialogue (SHIELD), all Chinese, American, and Philippine representatives have built consensus of the high-risk area as a basis to reduce the risks of those locations. What are broader security risks with a geographical element? What issues can be the most likely cause of unintended escalation?
Director Yan Yan, from the Research Center of Oceans Law and Policy, National Institute for the South China Sea Studies (NISCSS) shares her watch on hotspot issues of the Asia-Pacific region.