Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak rejected a ceasefire offered by a Philippine sultan after his followers clashed with Malaysian troops over a land claim in the eastern state of Sabah. Photo: EPA Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak rejected a ceasefire offered by a Philippine sultan after his followers clashed with Malaysian troops over a land claim in the eastern state of Sabah. Photo: EPA
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak rejected a ceasefire offered by a Philippine sultan after his followers clashed with Malaysian troops over a land claim in the eastern state of Sabah. Photo: EPA
Philip Bowring
Opinion

Opinion

Philip Bowring

South China Sea's history of boundary changes must not be forgotten

Philip Bowring says that Southeast Asia's history of fluid boundaries, overlapping territorial claims and varied cultural influences must be understood, not least by China

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak rejected a ceasefire offered by a Philippine sultan after his followers clashed with Malaysian troops over a land claim in the eastern state of Sabah. Photo: EPA Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak rejected a ceasefire offered by a Philippine sultan after his followers clashed with Malaysian troops over a land claim in the eastern state of Sabah. Photo: EPA
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak rejected a ceasefire offered by a Philippine sultan after his followers clashed with Malaysian troops over a land claim in the eastern state of Sabah. Photo: EPA
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Philip Bowring

Philip Bowring

Philip Bowring has been based in Asia for 39 years writing on regional financial and political issues. He has been a columnist for the South China Morning Post since the mid-1990s and for the International Herald Tribune from 1992 to 2011. He also contributes regularly to the Wall Street Journal, www.asiasentinel.com, a website of which he is a founder, and elsewhere. Prior to 1992 he was with the weekly Far Eastern Economic Review, latterly as editor.