You are on page 1of 11

DoConfidenceBuildingMeasures ReallyAddressMajorChallengesto MaritimeSecurity?

CarlyleA.Thayer

Presentationto JointMeetingofthe36 AustraliaCouncilforSecurityCooperationin AsiaandthePacific(AUSCSCAP)MeetingandANUCentreofExcellence inPolicingandSecurity(ANUCEPS)MaritimeExpertNetworksMeeting, TheAustralianNationalUniversity,Canberra,March2223,2012


th

DoConfidenceBuildingMeasuresReallyAddresstheMajor ChallengestoMaritimeSecurity? CarlyleA.Thayer1


Maritime security in general, and South China Sea maritime security issues in particular, have risen in salience in recent years. Regional attention is currently focused on the implementationoftheGuidelinestoImplementtheDeclarationofConductofPartiesinthe South China Sea (DOC) between China and ASEAN member states as the way forward to lessentensionsthroughconfidencebuildingmeasuresandcooperativeactivities.Regional attentionisalsofocusedontheeffortsbyASEANstatestodraftamorebindingCodeof ConductintheSouthChinaSea.TheGuidelinestoImplementtheDOCwereagreedonJuly 19,2011andASEANSeniorOfficialsmetonNovember11,2011todiscussadraftCOC. This paper addresses the question whether the confidencebuilding measures currently underdiscussionreallyaddressthemajorchallengestomaritimesecurityinSoutheastAsia It is divided into four parts. Part one discusses the confidencebuilding measures and cooperativeactivitiesoutlinedinthe2002DOC.Parttwodiscussesthemainchallengesto maritimesecurity.PartthreediscussesASEANsecuritycooperation.Partfourdiscussesthe strategic implications of the status quo and offers two proposals to enhance current challengestomaritimesecurityinSoutheastAsia.

1.DOCConfidenceBuildingMeasuresandCooperativeActivities
The original Declaration on Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea was adopted in PhnomPenh,CambodiainNovember2002.Itlistedthefollowingfourtrustandconfidence buildingmeasures: Pending the peaceful settlement of territorial and jurisdictional disputes, the Parties concerned undertake to intensify efforts to seek ways, in the spirit of cooperation and understanding,tobuildtrustandconfidencebetweenandamongthem,including: holding dialogues and exchange of views as appropriate between their defense and militaryofficials;

EmeritusProfessor,TheUniversityofNewSouthWalesattheAustralianDefenceForceAcademy,Canberra. Email:c.thayer@adfa.edu.au.

ensuring just and humane treatment of all persons who are either in danger or in distress; notifying, on a voluntary basis, other Parties concerned of any impending joint/combinedmilitaryexercise;and exchanging,onavoluntarybasis,relevantinformation.

The2002DOCalsolistedfivecooperativeactivities: Pending a comprehensive and durable settlement of the disputes, the Parties concerned mayexploreorundertakecooperativeactivities.Thesemayincludethefollowing: marineenvironmentalprotection; marinescientificresearch; safetyofnavigationandcommunicationatsea; searchandrescueoperation;and combatingtransnationalcrime,includingbutnotlimitedtotraffickinginillicitdrugs, piracyandarmedrobberyatsea,andillegaltrafficinarms. FollowingtheadoptionoftheDOCGuidelinesinmid2011ASEANForeignMinistersmetin SiemReaponJanuary11,2012.Theyreachedgeneralagreementontheneedtointensify effortstoensuretheeffectiveandfullimplementationoftheDOC.Accordingtodiplomats whowerepresent,theministerialmeetingdidnothavearealfocusandissuesrelatedto cooperation and the implementation of the DOC were not tackled in a comprehensive manner.2ThePhilippines,inparticular,wasdisappointedattheoutcome. ImmediatelyaftertheASEANministerialmeeting,ChineseandASEANseniorofficialsmetin Beijing from January 1315. The purpose of this meeting was to find practical ways to promotepeaceandcooperationandresolvedisputesintheSouthChinaSea.Thismeeting reached consensus to speed up specific cooperation projects, and to host seminars on maritime disaster relief, environment and biological research. The meeting also agreed to set up four experts committees on maritime scientific research, environmental protection (tomeetinChina),searchandrescue(tobeheldinHanoi),andtransnationalcrime.These expert working committees all derived from the list of cooperative activities in the 2002 DOC.Significantly,nogrouponsafetyofnavigationandcommunicationatseawassetup. China indicated its willingness to discuss a COC and added this rider when conditions permit. Boththetrustandconfidencebuildingmeasuresaswellasthecooperativeactivitieswere drawnupadecadegoanddonotaddressthecurrentmajorchallengestomaritimesecurity

BusinessWorld,January15,2012.

facingASEANstatesandmajorexternalpowerswithinterestsinSoutheastAsia.Theseare discussesinthesectionbelow

2.ChallengestoMaritimeSecurity
Itisimportanttonotethatthereisnomajorthreattothesafetyofcommercialvesselsin EastAsiassealanesbystateactors.Thereare,however,fourmajorchallengestomaritime securityintheSouthChinaSea. The first challenge arises from Chinese actions against United States military activities in ChinasExclusiveEconomicZone(EEZ),ChineseunsafebuzzingofJapaneseMaritimeSelf DefenseForceshipsinEastAsiawaters(andprovocationssuchasaimingnavalshipgunsat Japanese reconnaissance aircraft), and Chinese bump and grind tactics against other regionalnaviesonthehighseas. Oversixtycountriesintheworld,includingChina,assertsomeformofrestrictionorrequire notificationofmilitaryactivitiesbyforeignmilitaryshipsintheirEEZs.Theserestrictionsare basedondomesticlaws,regulationsandpronouncements.Theyhavetheeffectoftryingto carveoutsecurityzonesintheirEEZs.Thesestateactionschallengetherightofstatesunder theUnitedNationsConventiononLawoftheSea(UNCLOS)toconductmilitaryactivities, includingtransit,inEEZs.TherehavebeenseriousincidentsbetweenChinaandtheUnited States, most recently in 2009 involving the USNS Impeccable in waters off Hainan Island. Theseissuesremainunresolved.AlliedtothishavebeenChineseactionsinJapanesewaters andintheTaiwanStraitthatposeathreattosafetyofnavigationandoverflightbymilitary vesselsandaircraft. The second challenge to maritime security arises from Chinese actions to impede lawful commerce in the South China Sea. In 2011 there were at least three major reported incidents involving Chinese ships and vessels. A Chinese ship undertook dangerous maneuveringthatappearedtobeathreattoramacivilianoilexplorationvesseloperating inthePhilippines.Theoilexplorationvesselwasforcedtosuspendoperationsandleavethe area. The other involved Chinese ships deliberately cutting the cables of seismic survey shipsoperatinginVietnamsEEZ. It has now come to light that there were other cable cutting incidents prior to 2011. In 200708Chineseofficialsalsoputpressureonforeignoilcompaniesnottobecomeinvolved inassistingVietnamtodevelopitsoffshoreoilandgasindustry. Taken together these assertive action by China represent an unprecedented threat to unimpededcommerceintheSouthChinaSea.

The third challenge to maritime security relates to Chinas aggressive treatment of Vietnamese fishermen operating in disputed waters. Chinese civilian enforcement vessels have rammed fishing boats, such Vietnamese fishing craft, caused fatalities, fired shots at Vietnamese fishermen, beaten their crews, seized navigational equipment and personal property, alleged contaminated fuel, heavily fined Vietnamese fishermen and drive away Vietnamesefishermenseekingshelterfromstorms. Thefourthchallengetomaritimesecurityarisesfrompiracyandarmedrobberyatsea.This differs from the three challenges discussed because it involved nonstate actors. Current trendsindicateariseinpiracyanditsshifttothesouthernreachesofSouthChinaSea. How well is the regions security architecture coping with these challenges? This is the subjectofthenextsection.

3.ASEANSecurityCooperation
This section considers how ASEAN and ASEANcentric regional security organizations are addressingmaritimesecuritychallenges
ASEAN.ASEANhasset2015asthedeadlineforthecreationofanASEANCommunitybased

on three pillars: political security cooperation, economic cooperation and sociocultural cooperation. Under the ASEAN Charter decisionmaking is conducted by three councils of ministersrepresentingeachofthesethreepillarsorcommunities. The ASEAN PoliticalSecurity Council comprises the ministers of defence and security (see chartbeow).InMay2006,ASEANDefenceMinistersmetforthefirsttimeandbeganthe process of institutionalizing defence cooperation on a regional basis. This enabled a new structuretoemergethatnowformspartoftheASEANPoliticalSecurityCouncil.TheASEAN Defence Ministers Meeting (ADMM) became the capstone over what were informal meetingsofthearmy,airforce,navyandmilitaryintelligencechiefs. HowhasASEANaddressedmaritimesecurityissues?
ASEANDefenceMinistersMeeting(ADMM).Atthe4thADMMinMay2010itwasagreed

that ASEAN navies would cooperate to patrol their maritime boundaries. Little of any practicalnaturehasbeendonetoimplementthisagreement. TheprospectforpracticalcooperationamongASEANnaviesdoesnotappeargood.Atthe 5th ASEAN Navy Chiefs Meeting (ANCM5) held in Vietnam in July 2011 there was disagreementoveranumberofissuesincludingtheformalnameofthemeeting,howoften itshouldmeet,theconductofjointpatrolsandaproposalforanASEANcommunications protocolwhennavyshipspassedeachotheratsea.

ASEANPoliical SecurityCouncil

ADMM

OtherSecurity Ministries

ASEAN Mariime Forum

ADSOM

ServiceChiefs

ASEANnavychiefsareclearlydividedonthisissueandappeartolackpracticalguidanceby ASEANDefenceMinisterstoaddressmaritimesecurityissuesasapriority. InadditiontotheADMM,theASEANPoliticalSecurityCommunityBlueprintmadeprovision for an ASEAN Maritime Forum (AMF). The AMF was set up in 2010 with the mandate to focusonmaritimesecurityandsafetyissues. The AMF has focused on a comprehensive approach to maritime issues (maritime environmental protection and illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing activities, combatingseapiracyandarmedrobberyatsea,illegallogging,humantraffickingandillegal drugstrade)andhassofarnotdealtwitheithermaritimesecurityorSouthChinaSeaissues indetail.
ASEANCentric Security Cooperation. ASEAN has also initiated other mechanisms to deal

with maritime security. This section reviews the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) and ASEAN Plusarrangements. The ARF established the InterSessional Meeting (ISM) on Maritime Security in 2009. It focuses on information sharing, capacity building, and training rather than practical activitiessuchasSouthChinaSeaconfidencebuildingmeasuresorchallengestomaritime securitydiscussedabove.

InOctober2010ASEANDefenceMinistersinauguratedwhatisnowcalledtheADMMPlus. TheplusreferstotheinclusionofeightofASEANstendialoguepartners:Australia,China, India, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, Russia and the United States. At its inaugural meetingitwasdecidedthattheADMMPluswouldmeeteverythreeyearswiththesecond meeting scheduled for Brunei in 2013. This decision limits the effectiveness of defence ministersindealingwithchallengestomaritimesecurityonatimelybasiswithintheADMM Plusframework.
ADMM Plus Expert Working Groups. The 2010 ADMM Plus inaugural meeting also

approved the establishment of the ASEAN Defence Senior Officials Meeting Plus (ADSOM Plus) and five expert working groups (EWG) cochaired by an ASEAN and nonASEAN member.ThefiveADMMPlusExpertWorkingGroupsandtheircochairsare: HumanitarianAssistanceandDisasterRelief(VietnamandChina) MaritimeSecurity(MalaysiaandAustralia) Peacekeeping(PhilippinesandNewZealand) CounterTerrorism(IndonesiaandUnitedStates) MilitaryMedicine(SingaporeandJapan)

A year after their establishment the terms of reference for the ADMM Plus Experts WorkingGroupswereapproved.TheEWGonMaritimeSecurity(EWGonMS)hasheldtwo meetings.ThefirsttookplaeinPerthfromJuly2022,2011anddiscussedmaritimesecurity in general, the role of defence in maritime security management, sharing information on maritime security threats/challenges, and proposed activities on how to address those challenges.ItwasagreedthattheEWGonMswillmeettwiceayear. The second EWG on MS was held in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah from February 820, 2012. Malaysia presented two papers: a Concept Paper ADMMPlus Expert Working Group on MaritimeSecurityFutureDevelopment"andDevelopmentofaPreventionofIncidentsat Sea(INCSEA)AgreementfortheSouthChinaSeaformemberstoconsider.Thefirstpaper proposedamechanismtosupporttheworkoftheEWGonMSandimplementitsdecisions. Themeetingtriedtoidentifycommonareasofcooperationasawayforwardtoundertake challenges associated with regional maritime security issues. The Malaysian Institute of MaritimeAffairs(MIMA)andtheRoyalAustralianNavySeaPowerCentreweretaskedwith developingawebbasedmechanismforadvancingworkofEWGonMS. ThesecondEWG onMSconcludedwithadiscussionofascenariobasedworkshoptobeheldbacktoback withthethirdmeetingscheduledforAugustin2012inMalaysia.

AlloftheExpertWorkingGroups,includingtheEWGonMS,willreporttheirdeliberations totheADSOMPlus.Inordertobeeffective,theADMMPlusprocessmustbespeededup withatleastannualmeetings. AMF Plus. As a result of a Japanese proposal the second meeting of the AMF proposed expandingitsmembershiptoincludedialoguepartnersinaseparatemeetingorAMFPlus. Thisproposalisunderconsideration.

4.StrategicImplicationsoftheStatusQuo
If the status quo is maintained maritime tensions could be a driver of strategic change ratherthanaproblemtobemanaged. Maritimeincidentsarelikelytoeruptatanytimeandunderminepoliticalrelations.Minor brushupscouldresultintacticalmiscalculation. International law and legal regimes are a necessary but not sufficient foundation for maritimesecurity. The regional security architecture is multilayered and overlapping in terms of lines of responsibilityformaritimeissues.Membershipvariesfromoneorganizationtoanother. TheroleofanexpandedASEANMaritimeForumintoanAMFPlusisunclear. At present mechanisms dealing with maritime security overlap and are uncoordinated. A recentARFSecurityPolicyConferencetooknoteofthisandconsideredthisinevitable.

TwoModestProposals
Topdowndirection.Whatismissingintheregionalsecurityarchitectureisdirectionfrom

above. ASEANshouldestablishastructuresothatpolicyrecommendationscanbetransmittedto ministerial and head of state level from the specialized groups dealing with maritime security affairs. Once this structure is in place ASEAN leaders should give direction to the multiplebodiesundertheirpurview. ASEAN leaders should position ASEAN between the global powers as the brokers of consensus on what form a streamlined regional architecture should take and what policy prioritiesshouldbeadoptedtoensuremaritimesecurityinSoutheastAsia.Themostrecent expanded East Asia Summit (EAS) discussed maritime security issues thus establishing a precedentforretainingmaritimesecurityasanagendaitem.

TheEastAsiaSummitwouldbetheidealleadersledforumtoconsiderinputsfromtheARF, theADMMPlus,theAMFPlus(ifcreated)andtheAsiaPacificEconomicCooperationforum (APEC).TheEAScouldalsogivetopdowndirectiontoimplementrecommendationsdealing withmaritimesecurity(seechartbelow).

Code of Conduct for Southeast Asias Maritime Domain.The secondproposalconcerns a

Code of Conduct for Southeast Asias Maritime Domain. This proposal is based on two premises:thesecurityoftheregionsmaritimedomainisindivisibleand Internationallaw applieseverywherenotjusttheSouthChinaSea. SomeofASEANsenergiesinworkingtowardsaCOCintheSouthChinaSeawithChinaare misplaced. This process has led to divisions within ASEAN and divisions among ASEANs claimant states. Chinas assertion of indisputable sovereignty over the South China Sea may be the major maritime security issue facing ASEAN states but it is not the only one. TherearecurrentterritorialdisputesamongASEANmembersandothermaritimesecurity issuesthatneedtobeaddressedbothwithinASEANandinASEANsrelationswithexternal powers. TheproposedCOCforSoutheastAsiasMaritimeDomainwouldenhanceASEANsunityand cohesion, promote regional autonomy and ASEANs centrality in the regions security architecture.TheregionalCodeofConductshouldcoverSoutheastAsiasmaritimedomain

10

inamanneranalogoustotheZoneofPeaceFreedomandNeutrality(1971),TreatyofAmity andCooperation(1976)andSoutheastAsiaNuclearWeaponsFreeZoneTreaty(1995).

RecentPapersbyCarlyleA.ThayerontheSouthChinaSea
Availableathttp://www.scribd.com/carlthayer Maritime Strategic Overview of the AsiaPacific Region, Paper delivered to the Inaugural International Maritime Security Conference, cosponsored by the Republic of Singapore Navy and the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Singapore Exposition and Conference Centre, Singapore,May1314,2009. RecentDevelopmentsintheSouthChinaSeaImplicationsforPeace,StabilityandCooperationin theRegion,PaperpresentedtoInternationalWorkshoponTheSouthChinaSea:Cooperationfor RegionalSecurityandDevelopment,coorganisedbytheDiplomaticAcademyofVietnamandthe VietnamLawyersAssociation,Hanoi,November2728,2009. Recent Developments in the South China Sea: Implications for Regional Peace and Prosperity, Paper presented to the 2nd International Workshop on the South China Sea: Cooperation for RegionalSecurityandDevelopment,cosponsoredbytheDiplomaticAcademyofVietnamandthe VietnamLawyersAssociation,NewWorldSaigonHotel,HoChiMinhCity,Vietnam,November12 13,2010. The Tyranny of Geography: Vietnamese Strategies to Constrain China in the South China Sea, Paper to International Studies Association 52nd Annual Convention. Montral, Qubec, Canada. March1619,2011. Chinas New Wave of Aggressive Assertiveness in the South China Sea, Paper to International Conference on Maritime Security in the South China Sea, Center for Strategic and International Studies,Washington,D.C.,June2021,2011. SecurityCooperationintheSouthChinaSea:AnAssessmentofRecentTrends,PapertotheFirst ManilaConferenceontheSouthChinaSea:TowardaRegionofPeace,Cooperation,andProgress, cosponsored by the Foreign Service Institute, Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam and National DefenseCollege,DusitThaniHotel,MakatiCity,MetroManila,ThePhilippines,July56,2011. ChinaASEAN and the South China Sea: Chinese Assertiveness and Southeast Asian Responses,, PapertointernationalconferenceonMajorandPolicyIssuesintheSouthChinaSea:Europeanand AmericanPerspectives,cosponsoredbyInstituteofEuropeanandAmericanStudiesandCentrefor AsiaPacificStudies,AcademiaSinica,Taipei,Taiwan,October69,2011. WilltheGuidelinestoImplementtheDOCLessenTensionsintheSouthChinaSea?AnAssessment of Developments Before and After Their Adoption, Paper to 3rd International Workshop on the South China Sea, cosponsored by the Vietnam Lawyers Association and Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam,Hanoi,November35,2011. NavigatingtheCurrentsofLegalRegimesandRealpolitikinEastAsiasMaritimeDomain,Paperto International Conference on Cooperation for the Safety of Navigation in East Asia: Legal

11 Arrangements and Political Implications, organized by the National Institute for South China Sea Studies,HaikouCity,HainanIsland,PeoplesRepublicofChina,November1718,2011. Maritime Security and the Role of Naval Diplomacy in the South China Sea, Paper to MIMA Conference on the South China Sea: Recent Developments and Implications for Peaceful Dispute Resolution, The Maritime Institute of Malaysia, Royal Chulan Hotel, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, December1213,2011. Positioning ASEAN between Global Powers, Presentation to the 14th Regional Outlook Forum, InstituteofSoutheastAsianStudies,ShangrilaHotel,Singapore,January5,2012. The South China Sea Disputes and Their Impact on the Security Environment of Southeast Asia: What Lies Ahead?, Presentation to the International Conference on the Political and Security Implications of the South China Sea Dispute, cosponsored by the Center for AsiaPacific Area StudiesandtheEastWestCenter,AcademiaSinica,Taipei,Taiwan,January1213,2012. Vietnams Security Outlook, Presentation to International Workshop on AsiaPacific Security, NationalInstituteforDefenseStudies,Tokyo,Japan,January1718,2012. StrategicRelationsinAsia:AnOverview,Presentationto4thEastAsiaSecurityOutlookSeminar, SultanHajiHassanalBolkiahInstituteofDefenceandStrategicStudies,MinistryofDefence,Bandar SeriBegawan,BruneiDarussalam,February2,2012. "The Rise of China and Maritime Security in South East Asia," Presentation to 11th IDE Forum, Institute of Developing Economies, Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Headquarters, Ark Building,Akasaka,Tokyo,February9,2012. EffortstoEnsureMaritimeSecurity,Presentationto2ndTokyoDefenseForumSeminar,organized bytheMinistryofDefense,Galaxy,Chinzanso,Tokyo,March16,2012. DoConfidenceBuildingMeasuresReallyAddresstheMajorChallengestoMaritimeSecurity?, PresentationtoJointMeetingofthe36thAustraliaCouncilforSecurityCooperationinAsiaandthe Pacific(AUSCSCAP)MeetingandTheAustralianNationalUniversityCentreofExcellenceinPolicing andSecurity(ANUCEPS)MaritimeExpertNetworksMeeting,TheCommonRoom,UniversityHouse, TheAustralianNationalUniversity,Canberra,March2223,2012. Sovereignty Disputes in the South China Sea: Diplomacy, Legal Regimes and Realpolitik, Presentation to International Conference on Topical Regional Security Issues in East Asia, co sponsoredbytheFacultyofAsianandAfricanStudiesandtheHoChiMinhInstitute,St.Petersburg StateUniversity,St.Petersburg,RussianFederation,April67,2012.