The 14th South China Sea International Conference

Peaceful Sea-Solid Recovery

The South China Sea International Conference is an annual international conference organized by the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam (DAV) with the support and partnership of KAS Vietnam.

Since its inauguration in 2009 it has become the most prominent and high-ranking conference in Southeast Asia on maritime security and geopolitics in the South China Sea. This year, the two-day event, themed “Peaceful Sea-Solid Recovery”, convened in Danang on 16-17 November with the participation of nearly 40 speakers from close to 20 nations worldwide including Germany. Speakers from Germany included Rear Admiral Juergen Ehle (Senior Military Advisor of the European External Action Service) and Dr Sarah Kirchberger (Head of the Center for Asia-Pacific Strategy and Security at the Institute for Security Policy at University Kiel).

The conference took place in the context of the 40th anniversary of the UNCLOS and rising geopolitical tensions in the region. The relationships among the big powers went through unprecedented turbulences this year, with possible implications for the South China Sea. Military posturing reached a record-high level in the Taiwan Strait. Several countries announced or updated their strategies towards the Indo-Pacific. Global order and the rule-based international system are facing the most significant challenge unseen in decades.

The conference provided participants with a unique opportunity to comprehensively discuss about (i) the impact of international and regional political events and trends on the South China Sea; (ii) the dynamics of mini-lateralism settings in the Indo-Pacific region; (iii) legal basis for managing and resolving South China Sea disputes; (iv) the most appropriate “rules of the roads” for a variety of forces to adhere to in the South China Sea and beyond.

The conference is a flagship event in the cooperation between DAV and KAS. We are committed to the promotion of cooperation between the countries of Southeast Asia, but also with Europe and Germany, based on rules and trust, thus contributing to solving regional and global challenges.