Taiwan and Itu Aba (Taiping): Creating an ‘Island for All’ in the South China Sea

In: International Journal of Taiwan Studies

One of the key decisions of the Law of the Sea Arbitration decision of 2016 was that the Itu Aba (Taiping) ‘island’ held by the Republic of China (roc) was not an island at all. Recognising the ongoing policy shifts by the roc since 2008 regarding the South China Sea, this article contends that the roc would do well to declare Itu Aba an international haven for scientific exploration. Such a move would buttress the roc’s international position, appease its allies, and allow it to maintain some form of control over its interests in the South China Sea.

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