The Best of Times, the Worst of Times - Maritime Security in the Asia-Pacific

Author(s)                 Joshua Ho, Catherine Zara Raymond
Publisher World Scientific Pub Co Inc.
Date 2005
Pages 312
Format pdf
Size 14.1 Mb

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   In Southeast Asia, maritime security has, over the last 20 years, taken on much greater importance, due in part to the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and its archipelagic state and Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) regimes. Regional seas contain rich marine resources, major sea lines of communication (SLOCs) and a range of non-conventional threats such as piracy, illegal migration, arms smuggling and maritime terrorism. Economic development has provided the resources for maritime expansion amidst growing reliance on foreign trade and energy. There is greater dependence on long and vulnerable SLOCs in a region not without instability and the risk of conflict. Whilst military spending in Europe declined as a result of the peace dividend from the end of the Cold War, military spending has increased in the Middle East and Asia, reflecting continuing concerns over security threats. Much of this military spending has gone into improving and expanding maritime security capabilities. This emphasis on maritime security has resulted in new building programmes for the Chinese Navy, continuing investment in naval capabilities by India and recent naval expansion programmes by countries such as Taiwan, Burma, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore. Competition for resources and strategic access may increase the potential for conflict in maritime zones, especially in disputed areas of maritime jurisdiction that may include SLOCs and choke points. Multilateral security cooperation is thus required to manage emerging security threats in both the traditional as well as the non-traditional domains...

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