On March 30, 2016, EWI Perot Fellow and Senior Vice President David Firestein gave a lecture entitled "Rising Tides in the South China Sea: Can Military Escalation be Avoided?" at the Asia Society Texas Center in Houston.
Firestein discussed the major legal disputes surrounding territorial claims in the region, the official and underlying reasons behind China's claims and U.S. interests in the region and peaceful dispute resolution. He touched upon the complexities and growing intractability of the issue, and offered recommendations for mitigating the risks of conflict outbreak. Firestein concluded by noting that while the inherent legal disputes on territorial claims are unlikely to be resolved in the near future, claimants and interested parties can minimize the risk of conflict through better management of the process with emphasis on creating a stable, sustainable stalemate.