Xinhua’s Post Simulation 2017 Article
The 2017 South China Sea Dispute Summit/Simulation commenced at 9:10 am in the Gold room of the Mona Visitors Lodge. The gold room made sense as gold curtains covered the windows which also was a passageway of streaming sun rays. The Simulation kick started with the Special Envoy Justine Salmon addressing the delegations and the media houses that were present namely BBC, CNN Asia, Al Jazeera in an accent that seemed foreign to her and also those present at the Summit. She highlighted the fact that this Summit was necessary as resolving this dispute must be key for delegations present and namely: Asian countries, China, Australia and the United States. Dr.Michelle Lowe the Summit’s pioneer reiterated Madam Special Envoy’s point and added also that the presence of the People’s Republic of China’s ambassador to Jamaica Niu Qingbao at these proceedings. She further followed with a disclaimer noting that the presence of China’s territory Taiwan was a reflection of the Simulation’s creative nature and not of real world politics. Taiwan was asked to leave these proceedings by the delegation of China in which they quickly removed themselves from the Summit.
The press conference followed, in which Ambassadors, Representatives, Ministers from People’s Republic of China, Oil and Gas company, Australia, Philippines and the United States had questions directed towards them. In which each delegation summarized their stances on the summit.
The United States summarized that they promise to defend their interest in the South China Sea with their unchecked military might.
Oil and Gas company hope these proceedings end quickly and fairly to ensure economic prosperity for all.
Australia summarized that she is focused on freedom of navigation and ensuring that both her allies (China and the United States) come to an understanding on this matter.
China’s position was that they seek to ensure their sovereignty is noticed and China’s cultural and historical rights to the South China Sea is not ignored.
The Philippines summarized that they do acknowledge the support of other Asean countries (Cambodia) support to China and only wants to share the resources present in the South China Sea.
The Chinese ambassador to Jamaica Niu Qingbao then took the stand and expressed gratitude for being invited and also proceeded to correct certain inaccuracies that were posited by the United States and the Philippines in the press conference.
In continuing to identify special guests present at the South China Sea Dispute Simulation/Summit 2017. Xinhua’s lead journalist caught up with Dr.Omar Hawthorne and asked her to give her notions on the proceedings. She summarized that the proceedings were going on well as delegates had a grasp of the South China Sea dispute and also a grasp on current International affairs.
Xinhua’s lead journalist was rampant in acquiring points from key guests. The Chinese Ambassador to Jamaica was Niu Qingbao was welcoming as he had a quick meeting with the Chinese ambassador on the outside and asked a few questions. Summarizing the Chinese ambassador he reiterated his aforementioned comments and was pleased with the proceedings.
The simulation was gathering steam as certain issues arose and were addressed, mainly concerning articles in the code of conduct pertaining to freedom of navigation. Ambassador Neil Campbell, Ghana’s ambassador to China said “They have not impeded freedom of navigation. shipping still remains unaffected.”
The summit further steamrolled unto issues concerning aggression in the South China region. Chinese delegates noted that “ It is not unique (Acts of aggression concerning territories owned) if our territories are threatened we will defend them”.
In light of China’s response to its position on aggression, China used as an example of a country in the South China Sea that employs aggression with respect to territories is Indonesia. And that further supported their claim of aggression when it comes in light of defense of their territories. The simulation stopped many times as Ambassadors from The United States interrupted proceedings countless times in light of small discrepancies that weren’t focused on the matter of hand. Madam Special Envoy did her best in directing the proceedings forward and in a timely fashion, in order to achieve the target. But with a summit of this magnitude, tempers will flare and they rose to a record high today as many delegations were singed with stinging remarks. Stinging remarks came from the United States as they calmly reminded South Africa, that their trade in the South China Sea is bigger than South Africa’s trade in that part of the world. Madam Special Envoy also joined the singeing soiree with her frequent “thank yous”, “is that all?” “why are you repeating questions?” in that somewhat off track British/American/Bahamian accent hybrid stopped many delegations in their tracks.
Proceedings reached an eruption level , after having lunch because you can’t walk out on a hungry stomach. Russia started stewing in the pepper pot.
It would seem as if they were prepared to walk out of the proceedings but they were outdone by the passive nations of Australia and India.
Madam Special Envoy not wanting to be left out of all this drama, forgot to put on her accent (car crash) and shouted out “Yeah MAN” in a Jamaican accent in order to silence a delegation. Who knows, maybe she is trying out all these accents to make delegations feel welcomed.
Adding further excitement and a bit of a temper tantrum.The United States flatly told Asean countries “It’s either us or them”. They were then shocked after being told by Asean countries to stay out of its affairs specifying to the creation of a maritime task force in the South China Sea. Scenes ensued when those comments seeped into Ambassadors Henry and Burton western aggressive minds, they then stormed out of the proceedings.
The summit surprisingly after the exiting of the United States seemed to have been ushered into a peaceful and progressive proceedings sticking to the original script written by our playwright (Secretariat). Madam Special Envoy directed the proceedings towards the conflict resolution aspect of the code of conducts but unavailable to delve deeper into the issue due to time running out. She then wrapped up the proceedings and a final consensus was achieved. As delegations reached agreements within specific areas discussed namely Freedom of Navigation.
We then sought closing remarks from the People’s Republic of China expressing their thoughts on the South China Sea Simulation 2017.
UWI’s South China Sea Dispute Summit/Simulation 2017 was a more or less fair capture of the South China Sea issue as alliances were built, allies lost and insight gained. Many delegations were not necessarily adept at maneuvering the minefield of international politics and were “ Yeah man” into hiding. China’s stance wasn’t ignored and such provided instances of co-operation among Asean states. We leave you with the feedback from Madam Special Envoy Justine Salmon on the proceedings.