The Spratly Islands' Conflict: The Challenge to Sea Diplomacy [SPANISH]

[Article in Spanish] Located in the core of the South China Sea, the Spratly Islands have witnessed successive disputes between the surrounding Asian countries, which have sought to annex them to their territories during the last forty years. The main reason behind this geostrategic conflict is the privileged position of this archipelago, which is placed in one of the most traversed trade routes of the world. In addition, their richness in natural resources, including coal, gas and fishing reserves makes the Spratly Islands one of the crowning jewels of the South China Sea. Since Japan renounced to its rights of claim over them with the signature of the Peace Treaty of San Francisco in 1951, the race towards their control has resulted in several disputes between China, Taiwan, The Philippines, Malaysia and Vietnam. Regardless of the International law sentences and the mediating effort of ASEAN, these countries are still de facto involved in a silent battle for the control of the Spratly. Therefore, the resolution of this conflict accounts for one of the most defying challenges of modern Southeast Asian diplomacy.

Read More

Cambodia: The failed democratic dream of the sons of the killing fields [Spanish]

[Article in Spanish] Since the birth of the modern State of Cambodia, the International Community has questioned the transparency of its political system, apparently veiled under the principles of deliberative democracy. During the 30 years of governance of its prime minister Hun Sen, corruption and fraud have shadowed elections, and numerous cases of intimacy and threats have been reported prior to the celebration of these kind of processes. The fear of losing its hegemonic position has led Hun Sen to start a cleansing campaign against non-aligned media and civil organizations, aiming to eliminate any potential obstacles on its race to the 2018 elections. However, it has not been until the detention of the leader of the opposition party CNRP Kem Sokha on treason charges when the International Community has demanded the cease of these anti-democratic actions.  Nonetheless, the past behavior of the Cambodian leader regarding these kind of global complaints leaves small room for hope for those who dream about a truly democratic Cambodia.

Read More