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Panel discussion: The international community and the strategic balance in the South China Sea

Speakers Peter Jennings, RADM (Retd) James Goldrick, Mr Miles Kupa and Professor Ben Schreer

On Tuesday the 1st of December, ASPI hosted a panel discussion on ‘The international community and the strategic balance in the South China Sea.’ 

The evening’s panellists were RADM (Retd) James Goldrick (Adjunct Professor, Strategic and Defence Studies Centre, ANU), Professor Ben Schreer (Head of Department, Policing, Intelligence and Counter Terrorism, Macquarie University), Mr Miles Kupa (Former Australian Ambassador to Thailand and the Philippines/Former High Commissioner to Singapore and Malaysia) and Mr Peter Jennings (Executive Director, ASPI).  

The discussion was opened with a speech by Ambassador H.E. Sumio Kusak, the Japanese Ambassador to Australia. The first panellist of the evening was RADM James Goldrick, who spoke on the recent US Freedom of Navigation Operation in the South China Sea and the legality of China’s 9-dash line claims. Professor Ben Schreer then spoke on China’s strategic interests in the South China Sea, making it clear that China’s actions are an attempt to change regional rules and challenge US leadership. Professor Schreer was followed by Mr Miles Kupa, who explored ASEAN’s divided response to the ongoing South China Sea disputes. ASPI’s Peter Jennings was the final speaker of the evening, exploring the US response to the South China Sea disputes and whether Australia should join the use in conducting a Freedom of Navigation Operation. 

The panel discussion was followed by a Q & A moderated by Ms Catherine McGrath, Chief Political Correspondent, SBS TV.  After the discussion, panellists and guests enjoyed drinks and canapés.  ASPI thanks the Japanese Embassy in Australia for sponsoring the event.

Invisible linePanel members 

  • Mr
    Peter Jennings
    —Executive Director Australian Strategic Policy Institute

  • RADM
    (Retd) James Goldrick
    —Adjunct Professor, Strategic and Defence
    Studies Centre, Australian National University
  • Mr
    Miles Kupa
    —Former Australian Ambassador to Thailand and the
    Philippines / Former High Commissioner to Singapore and Malaysia 
  • Professor
    Ben Schreer
    —Head of Department, Policing,
    Intelligence and Counter Terrorism, Macquarie University


Speakers

Peter Jennings

Peter Jennings is the executive director of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) a position he has held since May 2012.