Objectives: This annual assembling is designed to review latest developments, identify the drivers behind relevant dynamics, and explore different avenues for conflict management and resolution in the South China Sea region, as well as for greater cooperation on a number of maritime issues. Built up the tradition of candid and open exchange established over the last annual events, the South China Sea International Conference aims to be a leading platform for candid exchange of ideas and an important informal regional security forum of the region.

Participants: We are inviting about 50world-class panelists and around 200-250 participants including senior officials, members of diplomatic corps, business executives, experts,and academics to the conference.

 Registration fee: US$200. Participants should be responsible for his/her own travel and accommodation expenses. The registration fee covers charges suchasconferencepackage, welcome dinner, lunches, coffee breaks, and conference materials.

Registration information:If you are interested in participating in the conference, please fill and submit theRegistration Formno later thanFriday18 October 2019and then your registration will be confirmed by email with aninvitation lettersent to you personally. If you could not find registration form in the hyperlink, please visit: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeX-cw6hzcEEIzqkAZQ6PWt8i-m4rEDHEHosUrJkZV68Rx5LQ/viewform?usp=send_form.

Our contact persons:





 5 NOVEMBER 2019

 All day



Welcome Dinner

Hosted by Mr. Nguyen Van Quyen, President of the Vietnam Lawyers' Association


Keynote: Mr. Vu Khoan, Former Deputy Prime Minister (TBA)

 6 NOVEMBER 2019




Opening Session

Moderator: Mr. Nguyen Van Quyen, VLA President (confirmed)

Welcome Remarks: Prof. Nguyen Vu Tung, DAV President (confirmed)

Keynote: Deputy Foreign Minister Dr. Le HoaiTrung (invited)


Photo Session


Session 1 (Plenary): SCS state of affairs: threats, risks and opportunities 

This session is designed to identify threats, risks and opportunities in the South China Sea in relation to regional peace and stability. Particularly, it is aimed at assessing the past year’s behavior and activities of all parties concerned and how they would affect inter-state relations and strategic seascape in the waterway of strategic importance. The key question for the panel is whether the South China Sea state of affairs has improved or worsened, and which have been the key factors that have influenced the developments on the ground.

Moderator: Prof. Nguyen Vu Tung (DAV)

-                Mr. Greg Poling, Director, Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative, Center for Strategic & International Studies, US (confirmed)

-                Ms. MaritesDanguilanVitug, Rappler, Philippines (confirmed)

-                Ms. SumathyPermal, Fellow and Head of Center for Straits of Malacca, Maritime Institute of Malaysia, Malaysia (confirmed)

-                Prof. Zhiyong Hu, Director, Institute of International Relations, Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, China (confirmed)

Discussant: Dr. Bill Hayton, Associate Fellow, Asia-Pacific

Programme, Chatham House, The UK (confirmed)


Coffee Break


Session 2 (Plenary): SCS in Competing Visions

The session is tasked with examining the importance of the South China Sea in major players’ grand strategies or regional visions in a way to mapping out how SCS is connected with their security and economic prosperity. Also, it is important to map out the differences and similarities in their interests in and approaches to the South China Sea to better understand the nature of their cooperation and competition over the relevant issues at this moment and time to come. The panelists are requested to examine the South China Sea from the perspectives of their countries’ policies and strategies, either Belt and Road Initiative or Free and Open Indo-Pacific, or their respective regional policies.

Moderator (TBD)

-                Prof. Hu Bo, Director, Centre for Maritime Strategy Studies of Peking University, China (invited)

-                Adm (rt) Yoji Koda, Japan Maritime Self Defense Force, Japan (confirmed) 

-                Dr Nicola Casarini, Head of Programme Asia, IstitutoAffariInternazionali, Italia (confirmed) 

-                Dr. Ekaterina Koldunova, Deputy Dean, School of Political Affairs and Department of Asian and African Studies, MGIMO-University, Russia(confirmed)

Discussant: Dr. Le Dinh Tinh, Acting Director General, Institute of Foreign Policy and Strategic Studies, Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam (confirmed)




Session 3 (Special): Quarter Century of Sea Charter 

This session is designed a grand celebration of the 25th anniversary of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, which has been the bedrock of the rules-based order at sea over the last 25 years. It convenes a number of historical witnesses to examine the rise and relevance of the legal framework which has been considered as the Constitution of the Ocean. The panelists are requested to have a look back on how UNCLOS was negotiated and agreed upon and assess the efficiency of the convention over the last quarter of the century. The central question for all panelists is whether UNCLOS 1982 are still fit for the present maritime domain, and whether it should be renegotiated partly or wholly to accommodate new strategic seascape.  

Moderator (TBD)

-                Amb. Tommy Koh, Singapore (invited)

-                Prof. Amb. Jean Pierre Queneudec, University of Paris I, France (invited) 

-                Amb. Satya N. Nandan, Distinguished Senior Fellow, Center for Ocean.

Law and Policy, University of Virginia School of Law, Fiji (invited)

-                Prof. Bernard Oxman, University of Miami, US (invited)  

-                Prof. RüdigerWolfrum, Faculty of Law, Heidelberg University,

former Judge at ITLOS, Germany (invited) 

Discussant: Prof. Robert Beckman, Director, the Center for International Law (CIL), The National University of Singapore, Singapore (confirmed)


Coffee Break


Keynote by a Judge of ITLOS Jin Hyun Paik (invited)


Session 4 (Plenary): SCS in Multilateral Forums 

This panel deals reviews how the South China Sea has been raised and discussed in multilateral forums such as the United Nations, ASEAN, ASEAN+ 1, ADMM+, ASEAN Regional Forum, East Asia Summit, Non-aligned Movements… Based on that, the panelists will examine how these multilateral settings have helped restrain different parties’ behavior, provide a conducive environment and mechanisms to foster the management and resolution of the existing disputes. It is also tasked with assessing how ASEAN-China talks on the COC and implementation of the DOC have progressed, and which obstacles have remained.

Moderator (TBA)

-                Prof. Carl Thayer, the University of New South Wales, Australia (confirmed)

-                Dr. To Anh Tuan, Deputy Director General, Bien Dong Institute for Maritime Issues, Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam, Vietnam (confirmed)

-                Dr. Udai Bhanu Singh, Senior Research Associate and Coordinator of the Southeast Asia and Oceania Centre at IDSA, India(confirmed)

-                Mr. A. Ibrahim Almuttaqi, Head of ASEAN Studies Program, Habibie Center, Indonesia (confirmed)

Discussant: Prof. David Capie, Director of the Center for Strategic Studies, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand (confirmed)





-                Keynote (TBA)



 7 NOVEMBER 2019


Three concurrent roundtables on fixing technicalities of maritime cooperation

The three roundtables convene leading scholars and policy practitioners to discuss practical measures to avoid incidents, build up confidence and foster functional cooperation to preserve and grow fish stocks and conserve marine ecology and environment. It should be noted that these areas have been discussed extensively in both Track I and Track II forums, however the progress remained modest. Most achievements are confined to seminars and conferences while actual cooperation among maritime actors is limited. Therefore, panelists are tasked with discussing the stumbling blocks and proposing mechanisms and course of actions necessary to overcome them.


Roundtable 1: Reducing grey areas for better management

Moderator (TBA)

-                Adjunct Prof. Stanley B. Weeks, Science Applications International Corporation, the US (confirmed)

-                Prof. Shen Dingli, Vice Dean at the Institute of International Studies, Fudan University, China(invited)

-                Gen.(rt) Nguyen Quang Dam, Former Commandant of Vietnam Coast Guard, Vietnam (invited)

-                Capt.(rt) Martin Sebastian, Head, Centre for Maritime Security and Diplomacy, Maritime Institute of Malaysia, Malaysia (confirmed)




Roundtable 2: Preserving fish stock for next generations

Moderator (TBA)

-                Dr. Morley Knight, International Fisheries Management Consultant,  Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue, Canada (confirmed)

-                Ms. Li Jianwei, Director and Research Fellow, National Institute for South China Sea Studies, China (invited)

-                Dr. Mudjekeewis D. Santos, National Academy of Science and Technology, Philippines (confirmed)

-                Dr. Nguyen Khac Bat, Director of Research, Institute for Marine Fisheries, Vietnam (confirmed)




Roundtable 3: Saving the ocean from Pollution 

Moderator (TBA)

-                Dr. Meixia Zhao, South China Sea Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China (invited)

-                Dr. SomboonSiriraksphon, Project Director, SEAFDEC/UNEP/GEF, Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center, Thailand (invited)

-                Mr. James Borton, Non-Resident Fellow, Tufts University Science Diplomacy Center; Faculty Associate, the Walker Institute, the University of South Carolina, US (confirmed)

-                Prof. Nguyen Chu Hoi,Chairman of Vietnam Association of Marine Environment and Nature, Vietnam (confirmed)




Coffee Break




Three concurrent roundtables on Beyond the South China Sea

This session looks into the broader geopolitical arena of the Indo-Asia-Pacific region to trace down how issues and problems facing other maritime domains, particularly the East China Sea, the Indian Ocean, the Pacific Ocean and two polar regions, the Arctic and Antarctica. It also explores how geopolitical and geo-economic developments in these regions have interplayed with each other, and how the games and rules have been played out. It is clearly critical to understand how maritime politics influenced those on land and on the diplomatic and strategic thinking.


Roundtable 4: Contests in East China Sea

Moderator (TBA)

-                Dr. Tomotaka Shoji, Japan National Institute for Defense Studies, Japan (confirmed)

-                Capt.(rt) Sukjoon Yoon, Senior Research Fellow, the Korean Institute for Military Affairs (confirmed)                       

-                Prof. Yann-Huei Song, Institute of European and American Studies, Academia Sinica in Taiwan (confirmed) 

-                Dr. Cao Qun, Center for Maritime Security and Cooperation, China Institute of International Studies, China (invited)




Roundtable 5: The Indian and Pacific: The convergence of two oceans

Moderator (TBA)

-                Dr. Jagannath P. Panda, Research Fellow and Centre Head for East Asia, Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, India (confirmed)

-                Dr. Leszek Buszynski, Visiting Fellow, the Strategic &Defence Studies Center (SDSC), Australian National University, Australia (confirmed)

-                Amb. Seyed Hossein Rezvani, Former Ambassador and Fellow researcher, The International Peace Information Service, Iran (invited)

-                Dr. Gatot Hari Gunawan, Director, the Indian Ocean Rim Association, Indonesia (invited)




Roundtable 6: Polar Regions: New Frontiers

Moderator (TBA)

-                Prof. Richard Herr, Faculty of Law, University of Tasmania, Australia(confirmed)

-                Prof. Anne-Marie Brady, Global Fellow, Kissinger Institute on China and the United States, Polar Institute, New Zealand (confirmed)

-                Dr. Baozhi CHENG is the Associate Research Fellow with Shanghai Institutes for International Studies, China(confirmed)

-                Prof. Timo Koivurova, Director of Arctic Center, Lapin Yliopisto, University

of Lapland, Finland (confirmed)





Keynote by Deputy Minister of Defense of Vietnam Nguyen Chi Vinh (invited)




Session 7 (Concluding Plenary 1): Incident Prevention and Confidence Building

The panel is set up to brief the outcomes of three concurrent roundtables in Session 5 and discuss the feasibility of different ideas and proposals.

Moderator (TBA)

-                Prof. James Kraska, Stockton Center for International Law, U.S. Naval War College, US (confirmed)

-                Dr. Do Thanh Hai, Assistant Director General, Bien Dong Institute for Maritime Issues, Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam (confirmed) 

-                Mr. Zhao Qinghai, Director of the Center for Maritime Security and Cooperation Studies, China Institute for International Studies, China (invited)

-                Dr. Bill Hayton, Associate Fellow, Asia-Pacific Programme, Chatham House, UK (confirmed)




Coffee Break




Session 8 (Concluding Plenary 2): Strengthening foundation for peace and rules-based order

The panel is set up to brief the outcomes of three concurrent roundtables in Session 6 and discuss the feasibility of different ideas and proposals to consolidate the foundation for lasting peace and stability.

Moderator (TBA)

-                Prof. Robert Beckman, Director, Center for International Law (CIL), the National University of Singapore, Singapore (confirmed)

-                Prof. David Capie, Director, Center for Strategic Studies, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand (confirmed) 

-                Prof. Zhiyong Hu, Director, Shanghai Institute for Maritime Strategy, China (confirmed)

-                Dr. Nguyen Hung Son, Acting Director General, Bien Dong Institute for Maritime Issues, Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam, Vietnam (confirmed) 




Final Closure

Closing remark by President of the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam,

Prof. Nguyen Vu Tung (confirmed)




Farewell Dinner