South China Sea: When the ASEAN nations are continuing weaving the Chinese rope that will hang them 當東盟國家繼續編織將吊掛它們的中國繩索

Map : Overlap of the South-East Asian nations’ EEZs by the « buffalo tongue »

By General (ret.) Daniel Schaeffer

Former French defense attaché in Thailand, Vietnam and China

Member of the French think tank Asie21[1]

Notice: This issue may be reproduced at will provided ( is clearly quoted as the original source.

By continuing to negotiate a future code of conduct (COC) of the parties in the South China Sea, the South East Asian nations are preparing a situation worse than today in their relations with Beijing, at least as long as the nine-dashed line that borders the “buffalo tongue” over that sea has not been deleted. Explanation.


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Chine – Vietnam – Philippines – Russie : La Russie agent potentiel de cristallisation de la situation en mer de Chine du Sud

Une série d’événements, sans coordinations vraiment apparentes les uns avec les autres, amènent à penser que, dans la crise de la mer de Chine méridionale, la Russie pourrait être l’agent susceptible de favoriser en arrière scène la cristallisation d’une situation potentiellement détonante.

A series of events, appearing without obvious bounds with each other, may lead to think that, in the present crisis of the South China Sea, Russia may indirectly become the agent who behind the scene could help to partly freeze a potentially explosive situation.

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Mer de Chine du Sud : Code de conduite, l’ASEAN continue à préparer la corde chinoise qui pendra ses dix membres 南海宣言:東盟10國要用中國的繩子吊自己

À la suite du 34e sommet de l’ASEAN (23 juin 2019 à Bangkok), les négociations préparatoires à celles qui devraient avoir lieu ultérieurement sur un futur code de conduite des parties en mer de Chine du Sud semblent s’accélérer. Paradoxalement ces travaux se déroulent à un moment où, pendant tout le mois de juillet et tout le mois d’août, la Chine se livre dans les zones économiques exclusives (ZEE) du Vietnam, de la Malaisie et des Philippines à des actes à visée hégémonique.


Following the 34th ASEAN summit (23rd of June 2019 in Bangkok), the negotiations preparatory to those which should occur later on a future code of conduct (COC) of the parties in the South China Sea seem to accelerate. Paradoxically those works are going on at a time when, during the whole months of July and August China is completing hegemonic acts in Vietnam, Malaysia and Philippines’ exclusive economic zones (EEZ).

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Mer de Chine du Sud – hydrocarbures : reprise des pressions chinoises sur les droits des autres riverains

Réduites en intensité après 2012 à l’encontre des pays d’Asie du Sud-Est, riverains de la mer de Chine du Sud, pour s’opposer à leurs activités d’exploration – exploitation des hydrocarbures dans leurs zones économiques spéciales (ZEE) respectives, les menaces chinoises de rétorsion reprennent depuis ce printemps 2017.

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The Code of Conduct of the Parties in the South China Sea: a tremendous mistake

On the 5th of August 2017, the ministers of foreign affairs of the Association of South-East Nations (ASEAN), in the frame of the first of their yearly meetings, gathered in Manila, Manila holding the presidency of the Association this year. One of the main purpose, among other important ones, of the meeting was to elaborate the project of a framework for the future consultations, before negotiations, for a code of conduct (COC) of the parties in the South China Sea (SCS). The project was to be discussed the following day with Wang Yi, the Chinese minister of foreign affairs. After strong discussions the two parties reached an agreement on a framework from which the consultations for a COC shall start in November, at Clark, Pampanga province, in the Philippines. It will happen on the occasion of the second ASEAN and China foreign affairs ministers’ meeting of year 2017.

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