Talks at University of the Philippines

Posted by on Apr 17, 2014 in South China Sea | No Comments


A copy of my presentation on the origin of the U-shaped-line can be found here.


I gave two presentations at the Asian Center of the University of the Philippines – Diliman on Friday 25th April 2014. Around a hundred staff, students and members of the public were there. I was honoured by the attendance of Supreme Court Justice Antonio Carpio, former Senator Leticia Ramos-Shahani, former Philippines Ambassador to ASEAN Dr Wilfrido V. Villacorta and former Commandant of the Philippines Coast Guard Commodore Carlos L. Agustin.

The two presentations were…

Lecture 1: The Origins of China’s South China Sea Claim (10 a.m – 12nn) Broadly describing the story of how, between 1909 and 1947, the U-shaped line came into being in the confused transition from imperial to republican China. The lecture shows how the line was drawn and redrawn by different cartographers; how translation errors from British maps created misunderstandings; how the Beijing government didn’t know where the Spratlys were in 1933; and how the ‘Nansha’ moved around the sea. It’s a story of mistakes and misunderstandings being transformed into state policy.

A copy of the presentation can be downloaded from here

Lecture 2: Political warfare and the South China Sea’ (2:00 – 4:00 p.m.) Illustrates how Beijing is making use of deliberate ‘media warfare’ strategies towards the Philippines and the US through the use of ‘hawks’ in the media. This paper will show how these hawks are directly connected to military propaganda departments and ponder on what role they play in China’s overall strategy towards the South China Sea.

More details of the event are at: