Eighth Annual East Sea Conference by CSIS


On July 26 at Washington DC, Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) held the 8th Annual East Sea Conference. US Representative Ted Yoho (R-Florida), Assistant Secretary of Defense Randal Schriver and about 100 scholars, experts from think-tanks throughout the world, including Bien Dong Institute for Maritime Studies, Diplomatic Academy of Viet Nam attended the conference. Appointed Ambassador of Viet Nam to the US Ha Kim Ngoc also joined this event.


Speaking at the conference, Representative Ted Yoho affirmed the US’ supports to peace, stability and freedom of navigation in the East Sea, which was key economic and trade arteries in the Asia – Pacific and the world. These sea lanes were also essential for the energy security of key U.S. regional allies and partners. The US and other countries had a deep concern on reclamation and militarization activities in the East Sea which were contrary to international law, including the UNCLOS 1982. The US had to change its approach, vigorously oppose to destabilizing activities as well as established new and more substantive policies to advance the US national interests and the interest of the other claimants, regional partners, and the rules-based order in the East Sea.


At the conference, scholars and experts argued that militarization activities served to raise tensions and challenges in the region, created many environmental issues in the East Sea ecosystem and raised questions on the rule-based order. They believed that the US had to do more to ensure the freedom of navigation in the East Sea. In their remarks, Vietnamese representatives reaffirmed Viet Nam’s commitment in cooperating with international community to reach peaceful resolutions for the East Sea.


The conference is an annual event hosted by Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative, CSIS. The 2018 event consisted of 04 panels, namely (i) State of Play in the East Sea over the Past Year, (ii) Dispute Resolution in the East Sea and Beyond, (iii) Environmental Issues in the East Sea and (iv) The Military Balance in the East Sea./.