JC History Tuition Online - What is the Mischief Reef incident - South China Sea Dispute

What is the Mischief Reef incident?

Topic of Study [For H2 History Students]:
Paper 2: Regional Conflicts and Co-operation
Source Based Case Study
Theme III Chapter 2: ASEAN (Growth and Development of ASEAN: Building regional peace and security – relations between ASEAN and external powers)

Learn more about the South China Sea dispute. [Video by BBC News]

What is the ‘Mischief Reef’?
The Mischief Reef has many names: The Philippines calls it the Panganiban Reef, whereas China describes it as 美濟礁 (Meiji Reef) and the Vietnamese labels it as Đá Vành Khăn. It is a low-tide elevation located in the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea. Although the Mischief Reef is within the Philippines’ Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), which was established as within 200 nautical miles from the country as stated by 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS III), China has made claims to this disputed territory.

The Mischief Reef is located within the Spratly Islands, in which China was known to have built military installations in 1994 and 1995. [Map extracted from Forbes]

The dispute
On 8 February 1995, the Philippine authorities identified eight Chinese ships in the vicinity of the Philippine-claimed Mischief Reef. In April 1995, these authorities publicised the arrest of 62 Chinese fishermen in the hotly-contested area, charging them with the violation of international law. The situation deteriorated when the Philippines identified Chinese markers on the Mischief Reef and other islands.

In response, the Philippines declared its intention to built 7 lighthouses to assert Filipino claims and support international navigation. Additionally, the government internationalised the matter, hoping to garner support from its long-term ally, the USA, which was bounded by the 1951 Mutual Defense Treaty.

The 1995 China/Philippines incident involving Mischief Reef (Meijijiao/Panganiban) may have had its origins in September 1994, when the Philippine armed forces detained some 55 fishers from the People’s Republic of China who tried to set up homes on one of the islands claimed by the Philippines. They were charged with illegal entry and illegal possession of explosives. In what may have been a tit-for-tat, China detained 35 Filipino fishers for a week in late January 1995 in the area of the Spratlys which the Philippines claimed and calls Kalayaan. Then on February 8, 1995, the Philippines accused China of breaking international law by stationing armed vessels at, and building structures on, the feature it calls Panganiban (Mischief Reef).

An excerpt taken from “Sharing the Resources of the South China Sea” by Mark J. Valencia, Jon M. Van Dyke and Noel A. Ludwig.

Although China ratified the UNCLOS III in 1996, she provoked the Philippines and Vietnam by using a method of measurement to calculate her territorial waters. This method was applicable only to countries that are archipelagic, yet China was not classified as such.

ASEAN Response
On 18 March 1995, ASEAN Foreign Ministers issued a joint statement in view of the Mischief Reef incident, expressing concern over the regional stability in the South China Sea. Although the statement intentionally omitted any mention of China, it was clearly directed at this active claimant. As described by the former Thai diplomat Pavin Chachavalpongpun, ASEAN member nations raised the matter on the South China Sea dispute, hoping to engage China amicably.

At the first meeting of the ASEAN and Chinese senior Foreign Ministry officials, in April 1995 in Hangzhou, a forum that I had proposed the year before, the ASEAN delegations raised pointed questions about the Chinese position on the South China Sea and particularly about the developments on Mischief Reef.

[…] Nevertheless, the discussions were significant, being the first time that China dealt with the South China Sea question in a multilateral setting, as opposed to its preference for discussing it only bilaterally.

An excerpt taken from “Entering Uncharted Waters? ASEAN and the South China Sea” by Pavin Chachavalpongpun.

What can we learn from this article?
Consider the following question:
– How far do you agree that the South China Sea dispute was effectively managed by ASEAN?

Join our JC History Tuition to learn more about ASEAN and the South China Sea dispute. The H2 and H1 History Tuition feature online discussion and writing practices to enhance your knowledge application skills. Get useful study notes and clarify your doubts on the subject with the tutor. You can also follow our Telegram Channel to get useful updates.

We have other JC tuition classes, such as JC Math Tuition. For Secondary Tuition, we provide Secondary English Tuition, Secondary Math tuition, Secondary Chemistry Tuition, Social Studies Tuition, Geography, History Tuition and Secondary Economics Tuition. For Primary Tuition, we have Primary English, Math and Science Tuition . Call 9658 5789 to find out more.

JC History Tuition Online - When did Indonesia get West Papua - Interstate Tensions Notes

When did Indonesia get West Papua?

Topic of Study [For H2 History Students]:
Paper 2: Regional Conflicts and Co-operation
Source Based Case Study
Theme III Chapter 1: Inter-state tensions and co-operation: Causes of inter-state tensions

Learn more about the West New Guinea Dispute of 1962 [Video by British Pathé]

Historical background: The West New Guinea dispute
After the Netherlands ceded sovereignty to Indonesia on 27 December 1949, the Dutch retained control over the Western part of New Guinea (also known as ‘West Irian’). Its native inhabitants, the Papuans, have occupied the land for over 40,000 years.

More importantly, the Dutch continued to occupy West New Guinea for strategic reasons. The Netherlands can not only capitalise on the resource-rich territory, but also maintain its regional presence in Southeast Asia. In contrast, Sukarno believed that Indonesia should take control of West New Guinea to complete the decolonisation process.

According to the Netherlands, the 700,000 inhabitants of West Irian were racially and culturally unrelated to the Indonesians. Indonesia’s position was that its nationalist project had a territorial, rather than a racial, basis and was rooted in common suffering endured during the Dutch colonial occupation.

An excerpt taken from “Self-Determination in Disputed Colonial Territories” by Jamie Trinidad.
JC History Tuition Online - West New Guinea Map - Interstate Tensions Notes
Map of the West Papua under the Dutch role before 1962 [Extracted from CQ Press]

International responses
In 1954, Indonesia raised its concerns of West New Guinea in the 9th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). Then, Sukarno garnered support from the Afro-Asian nations during the Bandung Conference in April 1955.

International opinion on the matter was divided. While Indonesia had the backing of the Afro-Asian nations, the Soviet Union and its Warsaw Pact allies, the Netherlands was supported by Latin American nations and other key Western powers like the USA and the UK. Notably, Australia opposed Indonesia’s claim of West New Guinea, citing security concerns as the former administered the eastern part of the disputed territory.

There were, of course, no immediate direct results to be anticipated from this but it served notice on the world that the Indonesian struggle for West Irian now officially had behind it the support of virtually all the independent and semi-independent nations of Asia – including Communist China – and Africa, the populations of which comprised the vast majority of mankind.

An excerpt taken from “The Dynamics of the Western New Guinea Problem” by Robert C. Bone.

By 1960, more nations supported the aim to put an end to the West New Guinea dispute. On 27 November 1961, the UNGA failed to pass a resolution on the dispute as some member nations favoured the resumption of Dutch-Indonesian talks while others preferred an independent West New Guinea. Consequently, Sukarno was certain that a military campaign was necessary to wrestle control from the Dutch.

Operation Trikora & New York Agreement
On 19 December 1961, Sukarno ordered the Indonesian military to commence a full-scale invasion of West New Guinea. In response, the Dutch ramped up its military presence. Fortunately, the military operation ended when the both parties agreed to sign the New York Agreement on 15 August 1962. Under General Assembly Resolution 1752 (XVII), the United Nations would administer West New Guinea temporarily before the territory is handed over to Indonesia.

The stand-off between the Netherlands and its former colony resulted in a crisis in December of 1961 when Indonesian President Sukarno prepared for and threatened armed conflict. An agreement was negotiated under the supervision of the UN as a result of strong political pressure from the USA. […] The New York Agreement provided for a UN-supervised popular consultation in order to give the Papuans the freedom of choice in determining their future.

An excerpt taken from “Peacebuilding and International Administration: The Cases of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo” by Niels van Willigen.

What can we learn from this article?
Consider the following question:
– Assess the view that the Indonesian Confrontation broke out due to ideological differences.

Join our JC History Tuition to learn more about Inter-state Tensions. The H2 and H1 History Tuition feature online discussion and writing practices to enhance your knowledge application skills. Get useful study notes and clarify your doubts on the subject with the tutor. You can also follow our Telegram Channel to get useful updates.

We have other JC tuition classes, such as GP TuitionEconomics Tuition, JC Chemistry Tuition, JC Math Tuition and China Studies in English Tuition. For Secondary Tuition, we provide Lower Secondary English Tuition, Secondary English Tuition, Secondary Math tuition, Secondary Chemistry Tuition and Secondary Economics Tuition. For Primary Tuition, we have Primary English Tuition. Call 9658 5789 to find out more.

JC History Tuition Online - What is the United Nations Malaysia Mission - Interstate Tensions Notes

Revisited: What is the United Nations Malaysia Mission?

Topic of Study [For H2 History Students]:
Paper 2: Regional Conflicts and Co-operation
Source Based Case Study
Theme III Chapter 1: Inter-state tensions and co-operation: Causes of inter-state tensions

Historical background: The Conflagaration in Malaysia
When the Malayan Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman proposed the concept of a Malaysia Federation in May 1961, there was no outright objection by the neighbouring countries, including Indonesia. However, Indonesian sentiments changed in January 1963, whereby the Foreign Minister Dr. Subandrio declared a policy of Konfrontasi (Confrontation) towards Malaysia. Indonesian troops engaged in cross-border raids and anti-Malaysia propaganda was spread to oppose the formation.

The Manila Accord: A truce?
Even so, the parties involved were not completely opposed to make amends through diplomacy. From 7-11 June 1963, the Philippine President Macapagal hosted a meeting in Manila for Indonesian President Sukarno and the Tunku.

During the meeting, the leaders signed the Manila Accord, which expressed their mutual desires to consider the wishes of the people in North Borneo (Sabah) and Sarawak when deciding on the formation of the Malaysian Federation. In particular, the results of a referendum would be taken into account based on the context of the United Nations General Assembly Resolution 1541 (XV), Principle 9 of the Annex that advocates the principle of self-determination.

(b) The integration should be the result of the freely expressed wishes of the territory’s peoples acting with full knowledge of the change in their status, their wishes haying been expressed through informed and democratic processes, impartially conducted and based on universal adult suffrage. The United Nations could, when it deems it necessary, supervise these processes.

An excerpt taken from the United Nations General Assembly Resolution 1541 (XV), Principle 9 of the Annex.

The United Nations Malaysia Mission
Following the signing of the Manila Accord, the United Nations Malaysia Mission led by Secretary-General U Thant was formed in August 1963 to ascertain the wishes of the people of North Borneo and Sarah prior to the creation of the Malaysian Federation. The Tunku agreed a referendum would be held before the Federation was formed, whereas Sukarno would not oppose the Federation if the majority supported it.

However, the Tunku’s decision to sign the London Agreement on 9 July 1963 was deemed problematic by Sukarno. The Agreement stated that the Malaysian Federation would be formed on 31 August 1963. Chronologically, the United Nations Malaysia Mission Report was only published on 14 September 1963, suggesting that the Tunku’s move may have been premature and a violation of the Manila Accord.

But even before anything had been done, before anything had been ascertained, before the U.N. mission’s inquiry had been completed, Tunku Abdul Rahman Putera already insisted that on 16 September Malaysia should be formed.

Why should he make decisions even while the U.N. team’s work was still not completed?

[…] Likewise, I am not pleased by the manner in which the people’s desires were assessed. In Manila, I said that the survey should be conducted in a manner in accordance with article 1541 of the U.N. [Charter], that the survey should be a truly democratic one.

An excerpt taken from Sukarno’s speech at an anti-Malaysia mass rally in Yogyakarta, 25 September 1963.

Notably, the United Nations Malaysia Mission Report concluded that “there is no doubt about the wishes of a sizeable majority of the peoples of these territories to join in the Federation of Malaysia”. Even so, U Thant expressed dismay at the Tunku’s decision to set an official date for the formation of Malaysia even before the report was concluded.

I later informed the Governments concerned that I would endeavour to report my conclusions to them by 14 September. During the course of the inquiry, the date of 16 September 1963 was announced by the Government of the Federation of Malaya with the concurrence of the British Government, the Singapore Government and the Governments of Sabah and Sarawak, for the establishment of the Federation of Malaysia. This has led to misunderstanding, confusion, and even resentment among other parties to the Manila agreement, which could have been avoided if the date could have been fixed after my conclusions had been reached and made known.

An excerpt taken from the United Nations Malaysia Report titled “Final Conclusions of the Secretary-General“, 14 September 1963.

What can we learn from this article?
Consider the following question:
– How far do you agree that the Konfrontasi occurred mainly as a result of political disagreements?

Join our JC History Tuition to learn more about Inter-state Tensions. The H2 and H1 History Tuition feature online discussion and writing practices to enhance your knowledge application skills. Get useful study notes and clarify your doubts on the subject with the tutor. You can also follow our Telegram Channel to get useful updates.

We have other JC tuition classes, such as GP TuitionEconomics Tuition, JC Chemistry Tuition, JC Math Tuition and China Studies in English Tuition. For Secondary Tuition, we provide Lower Secondary English Tuition, Secondary English Tuition, Secondary Math tuition, Secondary Chemistry Tuition and Secondary Economics Tuition. For Primary Tuition, we have Primary English Tuition. Call 9658 5789 to find out more.

JC History Tuition Online - What is the ASEAN Declaration on the South China Sea - ASEAN Notes

What is the ASEAN Declaration on the South China Sea?

Topic of Study [For H2 History Students]:
Paper 2: Regional Conflicts and Co-operation
Source Based Case Study
Theme III Chapter 2: ASEAN (Growth and Development of ASEAN: Building regional peace and security – relations between ASEAN and external powers)

Historical context: Contestation of maritime boundaries and islets
The South China Sea dispute involves the contestation of islets and maritime boundaries by different countries, both ASEAN and non-ASEAN related. In the early 1990s, claimants in the ASEAN-6 had to deal with external powers, namely Vietnam (until it joined ASEAN in 1995) and China. Within the South China Sea lies one of the most hotly contested Spratly Islands, which are claimed by China, Vietnam, Malaysia, the Philippines and Brunei.

Given that the Cold War came to an end by the late 1980s, the American disengagement had left behind a power vacuum in Southeast Asia, giving China the opportunity to fill the void up. To ally concerns among member nations, ASEAN made collective efforts to engage external powers amicably, as seen by its establishment of the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) in 1994.

In this article, we will take a closer look at the ASEAN Declaration of 1992.

ASEAN Ministerial Meeting of 1992
During the 25th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting in July 1992, the regional organisation formed the ASEAN Declaration on the South China Sea as a tangible response to manage inter-state tensions in South China Sea.

Also known as the ‘Manila Declaration‘, it urged claimants to exercise self-restraint and consider joint cooperation amicably. The Declaration was built on the foundation of the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation (TAC) of 1976, which advocated principles of non-aggression.

1. EMPHASIZE the necessity to resolve all sovereignty and jurisdictional issues pertaining to the South China Sea by peaceful means, without resort to force;

2. URGE all parties concerned to exercise restraint with the view to creating a positive climate for the eventual resolution of all disputes;

[…] 4. COMMEND all parties concerned to apply the principles contained in the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia as the basis for establishing a code of international conduct over the South China Sea;

An excerpt taken from the 1992 ASEAN Declaration on the South China Sea, 22 July 1992.

All bark and no bite?
However, not all external powers were supportive of the ASEAN Declaration. Similar to the USA, China was initially supportive of the Declaration. Yet, it was responsible for the ‘Mischief Reef‘ incident in February 1995. The Philippines discovered Chinese military installations being built at the Reef, antagonising other claimants. In retaliation, the Philippines arrested Chinese fishermen and destroyed Chinese territorial markers in following month.

Despite having expressed support for the ASEAN Declaration on the South China Sea during the 26th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting in July 1992, Beijing built structures on the Mischief Reef, which was also claimed by the Philippines, in 1994. Soon after the Mischief Reef episode in early 1995, Filipino and Chinese representatives met in August in an attempt to resolve their differences. A Joint Statement on PRC-RP Consultations on the South China Sea and on Other Areas of Cooperation was subsequently signed on 10 August 1995. Despites this, in January 1999, the Chinese were again constructing structures on another part of Mischief Reef.

An excerpt taken from “The South China Sea Dispute Revisited” by Ang Cheng Guan.

Notably, the USA took a rather hands-off approach in response to the South China Sea dispute in spite of its expressed interest to support the ASEAN Declaration. Even after the Mischief Reef incident, the USA insisted that the 1951 Mutual Defense Treaty did not apply to the disputed occupation of the Mischief Reef, leaving its former Cold War ally disappointed.

ASEAN recognized the intrusion as a test of its 1992 Declaration and, acting with unprecedented cohesion, called “specifically” for the “early resolution of the problems caused by recent developments in Mischief Reef”. ASEAN’s remarkable success in forcing Chinese officials to discuss the South China Sea — despite their insistence that it should be dealt with bilaterally and not between China and ASEAN as a group — left the Americans largely unmoved.

[…] Washington made it clear that the provisions of their 1951 Mutual Defence Treaty did not apply, leaving a disappointed Philippines, which lacked a credible defence force, to fend for itself. The failure of U.S. surveillance satellites and sea or air patrols to detect six months or more of Chinese construction on Mischief Reef aggravated bilateral relations.

An excerpt taken from “Entering Unchartered Waters? ASEAN and the South China Sea” by Pavin Chachavalpongpun.

What can we learn from this article?
Consider the following question:
– How far do you agree that ASEAN was successful in maintaining regional security in the post-Cold War period?

Join our JC History Tuition to learn more about ASEAN. The H2 and H1 History Tuition feature online discussion and writing practices to enhance your knowledge application skills. Get useful study notes and clarify your doubts on the subject with the tutor. You can also follow our Telegram Channel to get useful updates.

We have other JC tuition classes, such as GP TuitionEconomics Tuition, JC Chemistry Tuition, JC Math Tuition and China Studies in English Tuition. For Secondary Tuition, we provide Lower Secondary English Tuition, Secondary English Tuition, Secondary Math tuition, Secondary Chemistry Tuition and Secondary Economics Tuition. For Primary Tuition, we have Primary English Tuition. Call 9658 5789 to find out more.

JC History Tuition Online - How did Singapore respond to the Cambodian Crisis - ASEAN Notes

How did Singapore respond to the Cambodian Crisis of 1979?

Topic of Study [For H2 History Students]:
Paper 2: Regional Conflicts and Co-operation
Source Based Case Study
Theme III Chapter 2: ASEAN (Growth and Development of ASEAN: Building regional peace and security – relations between ASEAN and external powers)

Topic of Study [For H1 History Students]:
Essay Questions
Theme II Chapter 2: The Cold War and Southeast Asia (1945-1991): ASEAN and the Cold War (ASEAN’s responses to Cold War bipolarity)

Prelude to the CGDK: An enervating meeting
In view of the Vietnamese invasion and subsequent occupation of Cambodia in the late 1970s, ASEAN and its member nations including Singapore became increasingly concerned with this challenge posed to regional security.

In 1979, the Thai Foreign Minister Upadit Pachariyangkun and the Singapore Foreign Minister S Rajaratnam met the members of the outsted Pol Pot regime, such as Kheiu Samphan and Ieng Sary. During the meeting, Thailand and Singapore deliberated on the inclusion of other Cambodian factions to oppose the pro-Vietnamese puppet regime under Heng Samrin.

Notably, this meeting had set the stage for the creation of the Coalition Government of Democratic Kampuchea (CGDK) in June 1982. Rajaratnam made it clear to the Pol Pot leaders that they had to take a backseat, while the other two groups, namely Sihanouk’s royalist faction and anti-communists under Son Sann, led the coalition. This was because of the controversial atrocities committed Pol Pot regime in the 1970s that would have hindered efforts to garner international support.

Minister Rajaratnam reminded them of the horrors [the Pol Pot regime] had perpetrated and that they had no chance of getting international support without forming a coalition with other nationalist groups. […] While this discussion was going on, I observed that Ieng Sary’s wife, Ieng Thirith, was giving fierce looks at our Minister, boiling with anger, breathing heavily with chest heaving and subsiding as she listened to her husband’s requests being rejected. [..] We prevailed because they had no choice. We thus cobbled together a coalition under Prince Sihanouk.

An excerpt from a chapter entitled “Scenes from the Cambodian Drama” by Mr. S. Dhanabalan in “The Little Red Dot: Reflections by Singapore’s Diplomats” by Tommy Koh and Chang Li Lin.

Interactions with China
During a special International Conference on Cambodia in 1980, ASEAN had lobbied for a United Nations resolution to demand the immediate withdrawal of Vietnamese forces from Cambodia. During the Conference, a delegation that represented the People’s Republic of China (PRC) asserted that the Pol Pot regime should be reinstated, which drew criticisms due to moral and pragmatic reasons.

The Chinese Deputy Foreign Minister Han Nian Long alleged that Singapore was involved in a conspiracy to influence the attendees of the Conference to oppose the return of the Pol Pot regime. In response, Dhanabalan disagreed, stating that there was an overwhelming majority that was against this move.

I was surprised to note how keen the U.S. was to accommodate the PRC’s request. I explained to the U.S. Assistant Secretary of State that it was not possible to accede to the PRC’s request as it was wrong and would not get any support from the conference. He ended the meeting by threatening that he would go over my head and take the matter up with Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew in Singapore.

[…] PM Lee sent a note to the effect that the Foreign Minister represented the Singapore’s government’s position at the conference. It was a real life experience for me that interests and not principles determine the actions of big powers. The International Conference on Cambodia adopted a resolution that reflected ASEAN’s position.

An excerpt from a chapter entitled “Scenes from the Cambodian Drama” by Mr. S. Dhanabalan in “The Little Red Dot: Reflections by Singapore’s Diplomats” by Tommy Koh and Chang Li Lin.

What can we learn from this article?
Consider the following question:
– Assess the political effectiveness of Singapore’s efforts in response to the Third Indochina War.

Join our JC History Tuition to learn more about the Regional Conflicts and Cooperation. The H2 and H1 History Tuition feature online discussion and writing practices to enhance your knowledge application skills. Get useful study notes and clarify your doubts on the subject with the tutor. You can also follow our Telegram Channel to get useful updates.

We have other JC tuition classes, such as GP TuitionEconomics Tuition, JC Chemistry Tuition, JC Math Tuition and China Studies in English Tuition. For Secondary Tuition, we provide Lower Secondary English Tuition, Secondary English Tuition, Secondary Math tuition, Secondary Chemistry Tuition and Secondary Economics Tuition. For Primary Tuition, we have Primary English Tuition. Call 9658 5789 to find out more.

JC History Tuition Online - What is the Coalition Government of Democratic Kampuchea

What is the Coalition Government of Democratic Kampuchea?

Topic of Study [For H2 History Students]:
Paper 2: Regional Conflicts and Co-operation
Source Based Case Study
Theme III Chapter 2: ASEAN (Growth and Development of ASEAN: Building regional peace and security – relations between ASEAN and external powers)

Topic of Study [For H1 History Students]:
Essay Questions
Theme II Chapter 2: The Cold War and Southeast Asia (1945-1991): ASEAN and the Cold War (ASEAN’s responses to Cold War bipolarity)

Historical context: Third Indochina War
In December 1978, Vietnamese forces entered Cambodian territory and toppled the Khmer Rouge regime. Subsequently, the pro-Vietnamese People’s Republic of Kampuchea (PRK) was formed, led by Cambodian politician Heng Samrin.

An ASEAN-backed solution: Enter the Coalition
In 1980, ASEAN and China urged the Khmer Rouge and the royalists to join forces and form a coalition group to prevent the legitimisation of the PRK government. Norodom Sihanouk had set some conditions before returning to politics, such as disarmament to prevent another round of atrocities committed by the Khmer Rouge as well as the deployment of peacekeepers after the Vietnamese withdrawal.

Notably, Sihanouk also requested that the country’s official name be changed from Democratic Kampuchea to Cambodia.

Leaders of the political factions Sihanouk, Son Sann and Khieu Samphan attended a summit hosted by Singapore in September 1981. Eventually, a ‘four-points’ agreement was made, which included the formation of a Coalition Government of Democratic Kampuchea (CGDK).

With the CGDK being formed, the factions can garner foreign military support for the other two factions besides the Khmer Rouge, particuarly the Khmer People’s National Liberation Front (KPNLF) and National United Front for an Independent, Neutral, Peaceful and Cooperative Cambodia (FUNCINPEC).

On 22 June 1982, the three leaders signed an agreement to officiate the establishment of the CGDK in Kuala Lumpur. The June agreement stated that the CGDK’s aim was to “mobilize all efforts in the common struggle to liberate Kampuchea from the Vietnamese aggressors”.

More importantly, the three political factions in the coalition group would share power equally and make decisions through consensus.

On June 22, 1982, the three coalition leaders met in Kuala Lumpur to sign an agreement establishing a Coalition Government of Democratic Kampuchea (CGDK), on the basis of four principles. Prince Norodom Sihanouk was president, with Son Sann the premier and Khieu Samphan the vice president, in charge of foreign affairs. […] and the new president launched an appeal to all friendly countries to bring aid and support for the “sacred cause”, the restoration of peace in Kampuchea and stability and security in that part of the world.

An excerpt from “Cambodia Confounds the Peacemakers, 1979-1998” by Macalister Brown and Joseph Jermiah Zasloff.

What can we learn from this article?
Consider the following question:
– How far do you agree that ASEAN played a crucial role in the resolution of the Cambodian Crisis?

Join our JC History Tuition to learn more about the Regional Conflicts and Cooperation. The H2 and H1 History Tuition feature online discussion and writing practices to enhance your knowledge application skills. Get useful study notes and clarify your doubts on the subject with the tutor. You can also follow our Telegram Channel to get useful updates.

We have other JC tuition classes, such as GP TuitionEconomics Tuition, JC Chemistry Tuition, JC Math Tuition and China Studies in English Tuition. For Secondary Tuition, we provide Lower Secondary English Tuition, Secondary English Tuition, Secondary Math tuition, Secondary Chemistry Tuition and Secondary Economics Tuition. For Primary Tuition, we have Primary English Tuition. Call 9658 5789 to find out more.

JC History Tuition Online - What was the 1997 coup in Cambodia about

What was the 1997 coup in Cambodia about?

Topic of Study [For H2 History Students]:
Paper 2: Regional Conflicts and Co-operation
Source Based Case Study
Theme III Chapter 2: ASEAN (Growth and Development of ASEAN: Building regional peace and security)

Historical context: End of a 16-year long war
At the end of the Third Indochina War, the Paris Peace Accords of 1991 were signed. With the help of the United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia (UNTAC) led by Secretary-General Special Representative Yasushi Akashi and Lieutenant General John Sanderson, free elections were held in 1993.

The elections concluded with the formation of a Cambodian coalition government led by two political parties, Prince Norodom Ranariddh’s royalist FUNCINPEC (National United Front for an Independent, Neutral, Peaceful and Cooperative Cambodia) Party and the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) led by Hun Sen. The CPP held dominant control of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces.

It was agreed that Prince Ranariddh would assume the leadership position of Prime Minister first, then Hun Sen as the Second Prime Minister.

The coup and its impacts
On 5 July 1997, the CPP led the military in a coup against the Cambodian government, ousting Prince Ranariddh and his royalist faction.

Foreign investment nosedived. Some governments suspended aid. Cambodia’s seat at the UN was vacated under American pressure and the country’s long- awaited admission into ASEAN was postponed.

[…] These critics in Congress combined the democratic triumphalism of the post-Cold War years with a hangover from the US humiliation in Vietnam. Hun Sen, in their view, was a dictator and a war criminal. Not only had he been installed by communists, but he had been installed by Vietnamese communists. Rohrabacher later dubbed him “a new Pol Pot.

An excerpt from “Hun Sen’s Cambodia” by Sebastian Strangio.

More importantly, ASEAN had initially contemplated on extending an invitation to Cambodia to join as a member. In 1994, Cambodia was granted ‘observer’ status’, preparing it for the attainment of full membership. Following the coup, ASEAN announced its decision to postpone Cambodia’s membership admission.

Even so, ASEAN remained optimistic in offering a peaceful solution to the crisis in Cambodia. Three foreign ministers (Ali Alatas of Indonesia, Prachuab Chaiyasan of Thailand, and Domingo Siazon of the Philippines) formed an ‘ASEAN Troika‘ that offered to mediate the matter in Phnom Penh on 19 July 1997. However, the talks failed.

The Western donors and the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) endorsed ASEAN’s lead role in resolving the Cambodian crisis. US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright emphasised that foreign aid was now conditional upon ASEAN intervention, stating that ‘cooperation with ASEAN mediation… is essential if Cambodia is to fully rejoin the international community’

[…] The ASEAN Troika’s first proposal, issued on 19 July, was for Ranariddh to be reinstated and for both co-prime ministers to appoint representatives to run a ‘caretaker government’ until the May 1998 elections. Hun Sen rejected this.

An excerpt from “ASEAN, Sovereignty and Intervention in Southeast Asia” by Lee Jones.

Hun Sen criticised ASEAN for not adhering to its non-interference principle. Sen claimed that the political turmoil in Cambodia was its own domestic matter, thus ASEAN had no jurisdiction. Fortunately, the talks finally bore fruit as Sen agreed to join ASEAN on 30 April 1999.

When ASEAN decided to postpone Cambodia’s membership, [Hun Sen] threatened to withdraw Cambodia’s application: “I am afraid of joining ASEAN because of ASEAN interference in internal affairs.” However, in the end, Hun Sen accepted ASEAN as a mediator on the condition that it refrained from interfering in Cambodia’s internal affairs and respected its role of strict neutrality.

An excerpt from “The Changing Global Order: Challenges and Prospects” by Madeleine O. Hosli and Joren Selleslaghs.

What can we learn from this article?
Consider the following question:
– How far do you agree that governments were responsible for the economic instability in independent Southeast Asia?

Join our JC History Tuition to learn more about ASEAN as well as Regional Conflicts and Cooperation. The H2 and H1 History Tuition feature online discussion and writing practices to enhance your knowledge application skills. Get useful study notes and clarify your doubts on the subject with the tutor. You can also follow our Telegram Channel to get useful updates.

We have other JC tuition classes, such as GP TuitionEconomics Tuition, JC Chemistry Tuition, JC Math Tuition and China Studies in English Tuition. For Secondary Tuition, we provide Lower Secondary English Tuition, Secondary English Tuition, Secondary Math tuition, Secondary Chemistry Tuition and Secondary Economics Tuition. For Primary Tuition, we have Primary English Tuition. Call 9658 5789 to find out more.

JC History Tuition Online - Sipadan and Ligitan dispute Revisited

Sipadan and Ligitan dispute: Revisited

Topic of Study [For H2 History Students]:
Paper 2: Regional Conflicts and Co-operation
Source Based Case Study
Theme III Chapter 1: Inter-state tensions and co-operation: Causes of inter-state tensions

Territorial claims
Malaysia and Indonesia had competing claims to the Sipadan and Ligitan islands. These islands were situated in the northeastern coast of Sabah in the Celebes Sea.

Indonesia’s stake was based on the 1891 Anglo-Dutch Convention. Since the two islands were formerly under the Dutch colonial occupation, Indonesia’s attainment of independence had meant that the same islands should belong to them.

In contrast, Malaysia referred to the 1878 Treaty between the Sultan of Sulu and the British North Borneo Company. The British had ceded the North Borneo territory (Sabah) to Malaysia. As such, the two contested islands were under Malaysia’s control.

The former territory of North Borneo was ceded or leased in perpetuity to the British in January 1878 by an agreement signed between the then Sultanate of Sulu and two British commercial agents, namely Alfred Dent and Baron von Overbeck of the British North Borneo Company, in return for payment of 5000 Malayan dollars per year. The sum was increased to 5,300 dollars when the lease was extended to include islands along the coast of North Borneo.

An excerpt from “Sultan of Sulu’s Sabah Claim: A Case of ‘Long-Lost’ Sovereignty?” by Mohd Hazmi bin Mohd Rusli and Muhamad Azim bin Mazlan.

Militarisation of a territorial dispute
The situation appeared tense when both parties turned to their naval forces to address the contestation of islands in the early 1990s.

For example, in 1993, the former Malaysian Armed Forces General, Yaacob Mohd. Zain, that military action was the only answer to unsolved territorial disputes. A typical Indonesian response was an Indonesian naval spokesperson’s announcement that its forces would continue patrolling the islands because they “belong to us and we will defend them.” The crisis reached its peak in 1994 when Malaysian Defence Minister, Najib Tun Razak, visited Sipadan Island. Although the visit did not give rise to any incident, the military situation remained tense. Several subsequent stand-offs between the armed forces of both countries were reported to have taken place in the following years.

An excerpt from “Dispute Resolution through Third Party Mediation: Malaysia and Indonesia” by Asri Salleh.

In July 1982, Malaysia deployed troops to Sipadan and Ligitan islands. Likewise, Indonesian forces have landed in Sipadan island in 1993. Tensions were high when Indonesia accused Malaysia of conducting a military exercise in September 1994 to take over the two islands. In response, Indonesia held a naval exercise, while emphasising that it was not related to that dispute.

In July 1982, Malaysia occupied the two islands to the chagrin of its neighbour. As was the case with Swallow Reef, Malaysia began to develop the island for tourism. By early 1991 Indonesia started to protest the change in the status quo of the islands. Malaysian fishermen came eyeball to eyeball with the Indonesian Navy in July 1991 after which a joint commission was established. Even so, Malaysia claimed that Indonesian armed forces actually landed on Sipadan several times in 1993 and in 1994 the Indonesia Navy staged large-scale exercise involving 40 vessels and 7,000 troops in the vicinity.

An excerpt from “Non-Traditional Security Issues and the South China Sea: Shaping a New Framework for Cooperation” by Shicun Wu and Keyuan Zou.

What can we learn from this article?
Consider the following question:
– How far do you agree that the Sipadan and Ligitan dispute has strained Indonesia-Malaysia relations in the post-independence period?

Join our JC History Tuition to learn more about territorial disputes in the theme of Regional Conflicts and Co-operation. The H2 and H1 History Tuition feature online discussion and writing practices to enhance your knowledge application skills. Get useful study notes and clarify your doubts on the subject with the tutor. You can also follow our Telegram Channel to get useful updates.

We have other JC Tuition classes, such as GP TuitionEconomics Tuition, JC Chemistry Tuition, JC Math Tuition and China Studies in English Tuition. For Secondary Tuition, we provide Lower Secondary English Tuition, Secondary English Tuition, Secondary Math tuition, Secondary Chemistry Tuition and Secondary Economics Tuition. For Primary Tuition, we have Primary English Tuition. Call 9658 5789 to find out more.

JC History Tuition Online - What was the United Nations Malaysia Mission of 1963

What was the United Nations Malaysia Mission of 1963?

Topic of Study [For H2 History Students]:
Paper 2: Regional Conflicts and Co-operation
Source Based Case Study
Theme III Chapter 1: Inter-state tensions and co-operation: Causes of inter-state tensions

Historical context: A proposed merger and a political backlash
On 27 May 1961, the first Malayan Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman announced the proposal to form a ‘Mighty Malaysia’ that included the Borneo territories (Sabah and Sarawak), Brunei and Singapore. The merger would lead to the formation of a Malaysian Federation.

However, Sukarno of Indonesia had opposed the proposed Federation of Malaysia after the Brunei Revolt. In December 1962, the North Kalimantan National Army (Tentera Nasional Kalimantan Utara) fought for independence, rejecting the plan to join the Federation. In response, the British sent troops from Singapore to Brunei to crush to revolt. A month later, Sukarno’s chief architect announced the Confrontation (Konfrontasi) policy.

Throughout the Brunei rebellion, Radio Jakarta had broadcast a series of inflammatory statements designed to destabilize British influence in the region and then on 20 January 1963 Foreign Minister Dr Subandrio declared that Malaya represented the ‘accomplices of neo-colonists and neo-imperialist forces that were hostile to Indonesia’ and from henceforth Indonesia would adopt a policy of konfrontasi. Konfrontasi, literally translated as confrontation, had been widely used in Indonesia for years as a term to refer to the diametrically opposed differences between conservative traditional and liberal modern modes of thought and cultural expression.

An excerpt from The Brunei Revolt: 1962-1963 by Nicholas van der Bijl

Attempts at defusal of tensions: The United Nations Malaysia Mission
In May 1963, Sukarno and the Tunku met to hold talks on how to resolve their differences over the Federation. Sukarno claimed that Indonesia would not oppose the Tunku should the people of North Borneo agree to join the Federation.

On 31 July 1963, Malaya, Indonesia and the Philippines signed the Manila Accord, signifying the mutual consensus to ascertain the wishes of the people in North Borneo whether to join the Malaysian Federation. The Accord was drafted in accordance to the United Nations General Assembly Resolution 1541 (XV).

Then, the United Nations Secretary-General U Thant led a mission to facilitate the referendum in North Borneo. However, on 29 August 1963, the Tunku announced that the Federation of Malaysia would be established on 16 September. This unilateral decision had angered Sukarno, who viewed Tunku’s action as a violation of their initial agreements.

During the course of the inquiry, the date of 16 September 1963 was announced by the Government of the Federation of Malaya with the concurrence of the British Government, the Singapore Government and the Governments of Sabah and Sarawak, for the establishment of the Federation of Malaysia. This has led to misunderstanding, confusion, and even resentment among other parties to the Manila agreement, which could have been avoided if the date could have been fixed after my conclusions had been reached and made known.

An excerpt from the ‘Final Conclusions of the Secretary-General regarding Malaysia‘, 13 September 1963.

As described by U Thant, the announcement was perceived to be a premature decision made by the Tunku which Thant thought should have been undertaken only after the completion of the UN mission. Nevertheless, the mission reported stated that the peoples of North Borneo were in favour of joining Malaysia, thus legitimising the Tunku’s plan. Excerpt for Brunei, Singapore, North Borneo and Malaya merged to form the Federation was planned on 16 September.

What can we learn from this article?
Consider the following question:
– How far do you agree that ideology was the main reason for the Indonesian Confrontation of 1963?

Join our JC History Tuition to learn more about the Indonesian Confrontation and other causes of inter-state tensions. The H2 and H1 History Tuition feature online discussion and writing practices to enhance your knowledge application skills. Get useful study notes and clarify your doubts on the subject with the tutor. You can also follow our Telegram Channel to get useful updates.

We have other JC tuition classes, such as GP TuitionEconomics Tuition, JC Chemistry Tuition, JC Math Tuition and China Studies in English Tuition. For Secondary Tuition, we provide Lower Secondary English Tuition, Secondary English Tuition, Secondary Math tuition, Secondary Chemistry Tuition and Secondary Economics Tuition. For Primary Tuition, we have Primary English Tuition. Call 9658 5789 to find out more.

JC History Tuition Online - What is the purpose of the ASEAN Regional Forum - ASEAN Notes

What is the purpose of the ASEAN Regional Forum?

Topic of Study [For H2 History Students]:
Paper 2: Regional Conflicts and Co-operation
Source Based Case Study
Theme III Chapter 2: ASEAN (Growth and Development of ASEAN: Building regional peace and security)

Find out more about the origin of the ARF in 1994 [Video by ASEAN Thai]

The ASEAN Regional Forum
On 25 July 1994, member nations of the regional organisation gathered in Bangkok to establish the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF). Its purpose was to engage external powers and foster extra-ASEAN relations. By doing so, the peace and security of the Asia-Pacific region is maintained.

1. to foster constructive dialogue and consultation on political and security issues of common interest and concern;

2. and to make significant contributions to efforts towards confidence-building and preventive diplomacy in the Asia-Pacific region.

Excerpt from the inaugural ASEAN Regional Forum, 25 July 1994.

Facing Goliath: The South China Sea dispute
After the end of the Cold War, ASEAN had to deal with the challenges arising from a multi-polar world. One such challenge revolved around the South China Sea territorial dispute.

It was a contentious case not only because of the linked interests with the Chinese authorities, but also other member nations such as the Philippines and later Vietnam.

However, in the case of the South China Sea, “internationalizing” the issue served for a while as additional leverage against China’s power. Indeed, a few months after the first ARF ministerial meeting, in February 1995, the Philippines publicly complained about the discovery of Chinese facilities on Mischief Reef, off the Philippine island of Palawan.

[…] After the senior officials’ meeting in Hangzhou, the ARF has talked routinely about the South China Sea as a regional-security concern in open meeting, but without addressing the merits of individual claims or the need for other powers to intrude into the disputes.

An excerpt from “The ASEAN Regional Forum” by Rodolfo C. Severino, published in 2009.

As brought up by the former ASEAN Secretary-General (1998-2002), the ARF was a suitable platform to bring up sensitive issues without escalating them into troubling disputes.

The repeated focus on such topics as regional security matters have helped to align the perceptions of stakeholders, even though there were unfortunate flashpoints.

ARF can only work as fast and potently as ASEAN does. ASEAN centrality is its core identity. Some see that as a hindrance; in reality, the ARF continues to function because it provides a buffer between contending positions. The value of the ARF is precisely this space that it provides between growing contention within the USA, Quad, and China.

An excerpt from an opinion piece titled “Is the ASEAN Regional Forum still relevant?” by Gurjit Singh, published on 19 August 2021.

Although ASEAN had encountered obstacles in managing maritime disputes, particularly in the South China Sea, there were noteworthy achievements due to opportunities presented by the ARF.

Despite its relentless efforts to militarize the South China Sea, however, China has also shown diplomatic pragmatism in dealing with the Southeast Asian countries. On 18 May 2017, China and the ten member states of ASEAN announced that they had finally agreed on a framework for a code of conduct on the South China Sea. On 6 August 2017, the ASEAN and Chinese foreign ministers endorsed the framework for the negotiation of a COC (Code of Conduct). The agreement on a framework agreement is an incremental step toward the creation of a conflict-management mechanism for the South China Sea dispute.

An excerpt from “The ASEAN Regional Forum in the Face of Great-Power Competition in the South China Sea: The Limits of ASEAN’s Approach in Addressing 21st-Century Maritime Security Issues?” by Renato Cruz De Castro.

What can we learn from this article?
Consider the following question:
– To what extent was the ARF effective in keeping ASEAN relevant in the post-Cold War world?

Join our JC History Tuition to grasp the theme of Regional Conflicts and Cooperation, which features causes and consequences of inter-state tensions and the role of ASEAN. The H2 and H1 History Tuition feature online discussion and writing practices to enhance your knowledge application skills. Get useful study notes and clarify your doubts on the subject with the tutor. You can also follow our Telegram Channel to get useful updates.

We have other JC tuition classes, such as GP TuitionEconomics Tuition, JC Chemistry Tuition, JC Math Tuition and China Studies in English Tuition. For Secondary Tuition, we provide Lower Secondary English Tuition, Secondary English Tuition, Secondary Math tuition, Secondary Chemistry Tuition and Secondary Economics Tuition. For Primary Tuition, we have Primary English Tuition. Call 9658 5789 to find out more.