China’s sweeping claims of sovereignty over extensive areas of the South China Sea (SCS) and non-adherence of the UN Convention on Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) has far-reaching implications beyond the region. International law reflects the global distribution of power and defending a rules-based order against China’s bid for hegemony in the SCS is critical for the upholding of international law. The criticality of Southeast Asian countries in upholding rules-based order has been highlighted by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), under various initiatives. The Webinar will discuss recent developments pertaining to SCS to understand the Chinese presence and other stakeholders in the region and implications for Rules-based order.
About the Speakers
Pankaj K Jha is Professor with JSIA O P Jindal University and Director of Centre for Security Studies. He is Executive Director of a research-oriented think tank known as CESCUBE. Jha was Director (Research) with Indian Council of World Affairs from 2014-17. He had worked as Deputy Director with National Security Council Secretariat (2012-2013) and was closely associated with the national security apparatus in India. He has also given lectures and participated in high level dialogues in Germany, Belgium, Israel, China, New Zealand, and Australia. He has authored three books on India and China in Southeast Asia: Competition or Cooperation (2013) and India and the Oceania: Exploring Vistas of Cooperation (2016). His latest book is on India, Vietnam and the Indo-Pacific: Expanding Horizons, Routledge, London, 2020.
Lucio Blanco Pitlo III is a Research Fellow at the Asia-Pacific Pathways to Progress Foundation. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Philippine Association for Chinese Studies. He was formerly a technical assistant with the National Coast Watch Council Secretariat under the Office of the President of the Republic of the Philippines. He obtained his Master of Laws from Peking University, took graduate courses on Asian Studies from the University of the Philippines, and completed his MA International Affairs from American University in Washington D.C. His commentaries and analyses on Philippine security and foreign policy and Southeast Asian affairs appear in the Asia Times, China-US Focus, CSIS Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative, South China Morning Post, and The Diplomat.
Surbhi Moudgil is a Research Associate at the Institute of Chinese Studies. Her research work focuses on maritime security and international law in the Indo-Pacific Region. She is working toward a Ph.D. from the Department of East Asian Studies, University of Delhi. Her Ph.D. research entails the role of China's foreign policy, maritime security strategy, and Chinese views of sovereignty and international law and factors in shaping China’s rise. She received her Law of the Sea education from Yeosu Academy hosted by the Korea Maritime Institute, South Korea. She has formerly worked at National Maritime Foundation (NMF), Centre for Land Warfare Studies (CLAWS), and has been a journalist at Asian News International (ANI). During her tenure at various think tanks in India, she has managed various research projects and international conferences and has made national and international presentations.
About the Chair
Commodore Abhay Kumar Singh, an Indian Navy veteran is currently a Research Fellow at the Military Affairs Centre in the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, New Delhi. A surface warfare officer, he has served in various command and staff appointments during his naval career. He has also served as Director (Military Affairs) in the Disarmament and International Security Division of the Ministry of External Affairs. Maritime geopolitics in the Indo-Pacific is his key area of research. A frequent contributor to journals and periodicals on geopolitical issues, he is the author of India-China Rivalry-Asymmetric No Longer: An Assessment of China’s Evolving Perceptions of India.
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