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Turmoil in South China Sea: refugee protection

June 4th, 2015

Episode 199 of 535 episodes

The South China Sea is a vast treasure trove - availing whoever controls it of 1.4 million square miles of ocean and all the fish and oil underneath it. But China's recent island-building program in the Spratlys and the reaction of America has regional tensions on the rise. Ten nations of ASEAN, including some who lay claim to islands in this area, have also criticised China's island-building program. But what is the end game of China’s provocation - and America’s reaction - in the disputed South China Sea? Does China want control over the whole of the South China, or is it, as it claims, protecting its territorial rights and fishing fleet? And how does this dispute affect the international system of law laid down in the UN Convention of the Law of the Sea? According to the UNHCR, there are now over 55 million people counted as refugees or internally displaced persons. The contemporary drivers of forced migration have changed so much since the end of World War II, that protection predicated on persecution, as set out in the 1951 Geneva Conventional Relating to the Status of Refugees, has become problematic. What needs to be done to correct this situation?

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