Soundings Papers: Maritime Domain Awareness in the South China Sea in the 21st Century: The Current Situation, Challenges, Consequences and the Future

Soundings No. 40
Soundings No. 40

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LCDR Vichith Srey, Royal Cambodian Navy

During Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to Kazakhstan, in September 2013, he delivered a remarkable speech at Nazarbayev University in Astana, the capital city. In a reflective mood, he said, “Shaanxi, my home my province, is right at the starting point of the ancient Silk Road; today, as I stand here and look back at that episode of history, I could almost hear the camel bells echoing in the mountains and see wisps of smoke rising from the desert. A near neighbour is better than a distant relative.” President Xi’s reflection served to frame his main point: that economic success asks states “to combat the ‘three forces’ of terrorism, separatism and extremism as well as drug trafficking and transnational organized crime”. Dealing with these is vital for economic development and for the well-being of the people in the region.