Arbitration the way to go in South China Sea

AT A time when the rhetoric on the South China Sea issue is heating up, I was pleased to read Professor Tommy Koh's balanced view and voice of reason ("The Asian way to settle disputes"; June 10).

He focused on accommodation and the will to find common ground, with references to mediation, conciliation and even joint development - essentially, the Asean way.

After all, if the South-east Asian nations could have been part of the maritime trade route with China and India for hundreds of years, surely this is possible in modern times as well.

The insistence on competing sovereign rights and carving out the South China Sea will not make for stable peace in the region.

I agree with Prof Koh that China should reconsider its position and negative attitude towards arbitration and adjudication in order to conform to the best Asian and international practice.

Let us hope that the spirit of compromise will prevail in this dispute rather than one of "might is right".

Tara Dhar Hasnain (Ms)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 22, 2015, with the headline 'Arbitration the way to go in South China Sea'. Print Edition | Subscribe