April 17, 2015 to April 18, 2015
Washington, DC

At this year's dialogue, held in Washington, D.C., the American delegation of legal experts was again led by Stephen Orlins, the National Committee’s president, and Jerome Cohen, professor of law and founder and co-director of U.S.-Asia Law Institute at New York University. The Chinese side was chaired by Dr. Wu Shicun, the president of NISCSS, and Major Gen. (Rtd) Qian Lihua, former director-general of the Foreign Affairs Office of the Chinese Ministry of National Defense. Accomplished experts on international law and maritime disputes composed both delegations. 

The two sides met for a day and a half and all participants actively participated in candid and constructive discussions on legal and political aspects of China’s maritime disputes in the East and South China Seas. The issues these legal experts covered included territorial sovereignty, the legal and strategic meaning of China’s land reclamation efforts in the South China Sea, maritime jurisdiction, the present status and future prospects of the Philippines’ UNCLOS Annex VII arbitration against China, international and institutionalized dispute resolution approaches as well as security issues in the East and South China Seas. 

This dialogue allowed the participants to come to greater understanding of the motivations of the many players in this issue, providing insight that could inform Chinese and American official decision-making. Furthermore, together the experts from both sides explored the function of international law and institutional dispute resolution mechanisms in helping resolve and manage the current disputes and raised important and creative recommendations for possible ways managing these disputes. Both sides felt the dialogue was significantly productive in advancing mutual understandings of the issues regarding maritime disputes, the U.S.-China relationship, and regional relations of current importance to both China and the United States.


U.S.-China Track II Dialogue on Maritime Issues & International Law

U.S.-China Track II Dialogue on Maritime Issues & International Law

This dialogue convenes American and Chinese legal experts to explore the issues surrounding China’s recent maritime disputes and escalated tensions in the Pacific, better understand the impact on regional and U.S.-China relations, and provide suggestions for improving the management and settlement of current disputes.

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