The American Interest
Analysis by Walter Russell Mead & Staff
ASEAN Chief Blasts China’s Stop and Search Plan

Surin Pitsuwan, the Secretary-General of ASEAN, has denounced China’s plan to stop any foreign ships in ocean areas it claims, and to search and/or seize those ships.

Pitsuwan fears that the implementation of this policy could lead to something more dangerous, as the BBC News reports:

“My reaction is [this is] certainly an escalation of the tension that has already been building. And it is a very serious turn of events,” Mr Pitsuwan, head of the Association of South East Asian Nations’ (Asean), told Reuters.

“The problem is that you can stake the claim, you can initiate measures and policies but there is that potential of misunderstanding, miscalculation that could lead to major tension and major incidents,” he added.

ASEAN stumbled once in the maritime dispute earlier this year, when the group abruptly changed their stance on using multilateral discussions to resolve the territorial disputes. The group’s inability to come to an agreement clearly showed how much the group was divided on the issue.

But tensions are already flaring due to the increased action of Chinese ships, and this plan will ruffle even more feathers.

So it goes, in the Game of Thrones.

Published on December 1, 2012 12:00 pm