May 2024
AIIB ASEAN ASEAN (R) ASEAN-ISIS Asia Big Tech CH: Hong Kong Country (R): Indonesia Country (R): Malaysia Country (R): Myanmar Country (R): Singapore Country: ASEAN Country: Australia Country: Cambodia Country: China Country: Germany Country: India Country: Indonesia Country: Japan Country: Laos Country: Malaysia Country: Myanmar Country: North Korea Country: Philippines Country: Qatar Country: Russia Country: Singapore Country: South Korea Country: Taiwan Country: Thailand Country: UK Country: United States Country: US Country: USA Country: Vietnam covid-19 DE: 5G DE: Data privacy DE: Data security DE: Facebook Digitalisation Elections: Indonesia 2019 Elections: Thailand 2019 ESG: Climate Change ESG: Diversity ESG: Energy ESG: Green Finance ESG: Green Growth ESG: Haze ESG: Human Rights ESG: Modern Slavery ESG: Peatland ESG: Riau ESG: Smallholders ESG: Sustainability ESG: Sustainable/Green Infrastructure European Union Event: SDSWR Events: AAF Fukushima Global Citizens Singapore Indonesia: Jokowi Institute: ERIA Institute: SIIA JP: Abenomics Leaders: Kim Jong Un Leaders: Lee Hsien Loong Megatrends: Populism MM: Aung San Suu Kyi MM: NLD MM: Rakhine State MY: Anwar Ibrahim MY: GE14 MY: Mahathir Mohamad MY: Najib Razak New Horizons New Zealand Nicholas Fang Oh Ei Sun Recovery Region: European Union Region: Latin America Region: Middle East Reports Security: South China Sea Security: Terrorism SG: Lee Kuan Yew SG: SG Secure SG: Smart Nation SG: Society Simon Tay Sustainable infrastructure Topic (R): Belt and Road Topic (R): Business Topic (R): Digitisation Topic (R): Economy Topic (R): Green Finance Topic (R): Haze Topic (R): Infrastructure Topic (R): Palm Oil Topic (R): Peatland Topic (R): Smallholders Topic (R): Sustainability Topic: Anti-Globalisation Topic: Belt and Road Topic: Business Topic: Coronavirus Topic: COVID-19 Topic: Deforestation Topic: Development Topic: Digital Economy Topic: Digitisation Topic: E-Commerce Topic: Economics Topic: Economy Topic: Elections Topic: Environment Topic: ESG Topic: Finance Topic: Global Citizens Topic: Globalisation Topic: Human Trafficking Topic: Indo-Pacific Topic: Infrastructure Topic: Investment Topic: Labour Topic: Nuclear Topic: Palm Oil Topic: Race Topic: Regional Integration Topic: Religion Topic: Security Topic: Singapore-Malaysia Relations Topic: Small States Topic: Trade Trade: AEC Trade: CPTPP Trade: FTA Trade: Multilateralism Trade: RCEP Trade: TPP Trade: War Trends (Digital): Cybersecurity UK: Brexit United States US: Obama US: Trump US: Trump WEF youth

SIIA Chairman Simon Tay interviewed by Phoenix Television on South China Sea ruling

16 Jul SIIA Chairman Simon Tay interviewed by Phoenix Television on South China Sea ruling

SIIA Chairman Simon Tay was interviewed by Phoenix Television, commenting on how ASEAN is responding to the South China Sea ruling by the Permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague. The video is available from and a transcript is available on the SIIA website.

VIDEO: 东盟:不会就南海仲裁案结果发表联合声明 [Phoenix TV, 16 Jul 2016]

Phoenix TV (Mandarin): ASEAN diplomats said on the 14th that they would not issue a unified response to the court decision. This indicates a rift within ASEAN between member countries with regards to the decision. An expert from the Singapore Institute of International Affairs (SIIA) believes that ASEAN countries should realise that disputes involving only certain ASEAN member states should be dealt with on a bilateral basis by the countries involved

Phoenix TV (Mandarin): According to reports from diplomats of the countries involved, ASEAN was considering taking a unified stand in response to the ruling, but were unable to arrive at a consensus. Hence no response was issued. A scholar from the SIIA believes it is important to realise that it is impossible for the ten ASEAN member countries to arrive at complete consensus on every issue, and that disputes involving specific states must be dealt with on a bilateral level.

Prof. Simon Tay: ASEAN must also face up to the limits of its unity. If we overemphasise unity, we will actually force ourselves to say – is this price worth paying? If today we went to Laos and said: No, you must side with the Philippines – but Laos has got a physical border with China. It’s receiving Chinese trade and investment. The price will be too high. Then it might leave ASEAN.

Phoenix TV (Mandarin): It is important to use diplomatic means to defuse this uneasy period in ASEAN foreign relations. If ASEAN overly emphasises the dispute, it will escalate militarisation of US-China relationship in South China Sea. As a result, ASEAN members may become influenced by geopolitical factors and turn towards the West

Prof. Simon Tay: So I’m against over-focusing on the South China Sea, because that will militarise the relationship between China and the US, as well as between the US and the various ASEAN member states. But funnily, or sadly, it’s the easiest thing for America to emphasise, because America’s military strength within our region remains very strong. So I’m hoping that post-decision, the South China Sea can be a bit calmer so we can see the totality, be much more balanced in the US-ASEAN, US-Asia relationship.

Phoenix TV (Mandarin): The scholar from the SIIA pointed out that the ASEAN meeting next week will be held in Laos, the South China Sea issue will once again become a talking point. Each country involved, especially the US and the Philippines, should exercise restraint in discussing the issue and adopt a rational standpoint.

Photo Credit: Phoenix TV