On the morning of October 27, 2016 the Committee of 100 hosted an invite-only breakfast at the U.S. Capitol on “Maritime Unease: Navigating Tensions in the South and East China Seas”, in partnership with the U.S. Association of Former Members of Congress (USAFMC). This briefing is the fourth event on Capitol Hill this year as part of our efforts to provide balanced views on major issues in U.S.-China relations. This event is supported in part by the J.T. Tai Foundation.
The panel discussion was moderated by C100 Member and Washington D.C. Chairman Robert Gee. The two distinguished panelists were Bonnie Glaser, Senior Advisor for Asia and Director of the China Power Project, CSIS and Ben Dolven, Specialist in Asian Affairs, Congressional Research Service.
Robert Gee opened the discussion with recent news about China-Philippines relations regarding the South China Sea dispute and asked the panelists to provide insights on whether this would affect U.S. interests and U.S.-China relations. Bonnie Glaser mentioned that the overall reducing tension is beneficial to the U.S. and the surrounding countries.
Ben Dolven pointed out that Filipino domestic politics might not always align with the politics of their president. Both panelists stated that the disputes in the East China Sea are more clearly defined than those of the South China Sea, which will be affected by the U.S. election and the foreign policy emphasis of the new administration. Audiences raised questions about the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and the U.S. Freedom of Navigation Operations Program. At 10:00 am, Robert Gee concluded the discussion by re-emphasizing that U.S.-China relationship should not be endangered by momentary tensions, and encouraged the audience to read C100’s statement on the issue.
This briefing is part of C100’s national Speakers Forum Series, a high-level platform that addresses major issues in U.S.-China relations and the Asian American community. An executive summary will be distributed to attendees and congressional staff.