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Cross-Strait Seminar on the South China Sea

On March 26, China University of Political Science and Law (CUPL), together with the Chinese Society of the Law of the Sea, National Taiwan University (NTU) and Taiwan Institute of Marine Affairs and Policy, successfully held the Cross-Strait Seminar on the South China Sea. The online seminar was attended by an audience of nearly 300 people.  

CUPL Vice President Shi Jianzhong hoped that the seminar would further deepen cross-strait scholarly exchanges on issues of common interest and strengthen the academic consensus on the South China Sea issue. The seminar, as one of the series of academic activities to celebrate the 70th birthday of CUPL, would certainly facilitate the education and research of CUPL.

Gao Zhiguo, President of the China Society of the Law of the Sea, introduced the background of the seminar, which was the Limits in the Seas No. 150 (hereinafter referred to as “No. 150”) released by the U.S. State Department in January this year. He said that under the backdrop of an era of momentous changes unseen in a century, this seminar co-organized by the two sides was a good attempt in the field of international law and the law of the sea. Besides, he expected that scholars from both sides would conduct in-depth exchanges on historical rights and other matters not stipulated in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (hereinafter referred to as “UNCLOS”). Cai Jiting, Executive Director of the Center for China Studies, NTU, pointed out that the South China Sea had always been the core issue of the Indo-Pacific Strategy. In this context, the discussion and communication among international law scholars from both sides on the issue became a precious opportunity for broadened academic horizons and new ideas.

Presiding over the closing ceremony, Li Jiuqian, Director of the Office of International Cooperation and Exchange, CUPL, said that scholars across the Strait should join hands for research on the law of the sea related to disputes in the South China Sea, such as the interpretation of the provisions of the UNCLOS and the recognition of State practice and other matters, in order to jointly address the challenges in the field of the law of the sea. He also looked forward to face-to-face academic communication after the COVID-19 pandemic. Song Yanhui, Director of Taiwan Institute of Marine Affairs and Policy, hoped that more young scholars in Taiwan would pay attention to issues of the law of the sea and actively participate in the cross-strait academic communication and cooperation.

The seminar is an important academic exchange and cooperation between scholars in the fields of the international law and the law of the sea, as well as experts and scholars on the South China Sea issue from both sides across the Strait since the outbreak of COVID-19. Experts and scholars from both sides discussed and exchanged ideas over the latest developments and trends of issues in the South China Sea as an attempt to promote academic exchanges across the Strait and jointly safeguard the rights and interests of the South China Sea. The seminar is of great realistic significance and will contribute to promoting cross-strait cooperation and progress on the South China Sea issue.