On October 22nd, 2020, over 90 participants attended the YCAPS-ICAS-JUMP-hosted webinar session on rising tensions in the East China Sea, offered by Dr. Alessio Patalano from King's College London. Dr. Patalano discussed his views and analysis on changes in both China and Japan's strategies and behaviors, with an overview of the relationship between the two nations in terms of their maritime dispute.
Starting with an overview of changes in behaviors and status-quo, Dr. Patalano explained China and Japan’s positions by addressing multiple aspects including different phases of China’s three-pronged attritional strategy toward the East China Sea, PRC’s behaviors that are connected to the exercise of law enforcement rights, and possible ways in which the COVID-19 pandemic has shifted China’s approach to the area. Explaining this issue while also addressing many other points, he emphasized that this issue on behavior and management of international maritime disputes applies to maritime order not only in China and Japan, but everywhere else in the world. Following the presentation, the webinar continued with a highly interactive Q&A session where participants asked a variety of questions, from how the Suga Administration may maintain similar attitudes as Abe Administration, to reasons why neither country has sought arbitration, to PRC’s response towards Japan’s actions in possible scenarios. Discussion on these points, along with many others, showed that the nature of this topic surrounding the East China Sea continues to be a relevant issue.
ーBy Sema Gelegen from International Christian University (ICU)