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Post time 2013-5-20 04:55:10 |Display all floors
This post was edited by abramicus at 2013-5-20 04:58


There are many possible solutions.  In the case of the overlapping EEZ's of the South China Sea, the following paradigm variation has a high probability of succeeding:

1.  Using the UNCLOS definition of EEZ as applied to both countries, divide the overlapping region right in the middle.  

2.  Where disagreement exists regarding certain points on the proposed boundary, let a randomizing device decide on where the exact points should be subject to mutually agreed restrictions, such as that the total area each side gets must equal that of the other side, and that the deviation from the proposed boundary should not go beyond certain limits on each side of the boundary.  

3.  Where the economic value of certain oil or mineral reserves are uncertain, then let there be a bidding mechanism such that the side which gets the site pays the other side what it estimates to be the value of the site.  If either side agrees to the demand of the other side in monetary terms, then the matter is resolved.  If both sides cannot agree to the offer of the other side, then a random device is used to see which side gets the site.  The "winner" gets the site, but pays the value of what it demanded for it to the "loser".  In reality, there is no winner or loser, because the side that gets the site pays the the side that does not.

This is a variation of the "Cake Cutting Paradigm" in that the side cutting the cake is not the side choosing which piece it gets.  This keeps both sides honest as to the true value of the piece of cake (territory) it demands.  Thus two bids are created.  

For example, for Island X, China demands $10 B, and the Philippines demand $8 B.  If either side agrees to the price of the other, then a sale is concluded.  Say, China pays the Philippines $8 B, then the sale is consummated.  Likewise, if the Philippines pays China $10 B then the sale is consummated.  But if both were bluffing, and neither is willing to pay the asking price of the other side, then Round-2 occurs.

A coin is tossed with the prior agreement that if it turns up heads, China must buy, and if it turns up tails, the Philippines must buy.  Thus, if head came up, China must pay the Philippines, not the amount that the Philippines asked, but instead what China demanded, which is $10 B.  And, if tails came up, the Philippines must pay China $8 B, which is what the Philippines demanded, not what China asked.  In either case, the island will be sold to one side or the other.  Sale closed.

Why do we have to do this?  Because we need to keep both sides honest as to the true value of the island to them, and without this mechanism, there is no incentive for either side to be honest.  Because the price that China demands in the first round becomes the price that China must pay in the second round, China has no incentive to inflate or deflate it.  Likewise, for the Philippines.  By forcing each other to be honest, the two sides are helping themselves agree to a fair exchange of land for money, in this instance.  Money is used in this example because it is easy to illustrate.  

But, a further variation of this could be, say that in exchange for Island X, China is demanding Islands A & B, while in exchange for Island X, the Philippines is demanding Island B & C.  Again, the logic works its effect.  In the first round if the offer of the other side is acceptable to either side, the deal is closed.  But if neither is satisfied with the deal, a Round-2 coin tossing event is employed to break the impasse.  If China wins, it will have to give up Islands A and B to the Philippines in exchange for taking over Island X.  If the Philippines wins, it will have to give up Islands B & C, and take over Island X.  Thus, there is no incentive for China to demand more in the first round than what it is willing to give up in the second round.  Likewise for the Philippines.  Thus, both sides are forced to be honest about the price they demand for Island X.  

The problem can revert to a disagreement about what islands or territories are in dispute and thus must be put up for their Cake-Cutting-Auction.  With this paradigm, the Philippines can make off like a bandit by putting all of Taiwan under dispute, for example.  In order for China to retake any part of Taiwan, it would have to pay in kind or in specie, which is impossible.  Thus, it is equally important to start with a definable boundary of the region in dispute, and a date on which such a boundary exists.  In the case of the Taiwan-Philippine dispute, the boundaries of the territory in dispute are defined by the EEZ boundaries of Taiwan that are inside the Philippines' EEZ, and the EEZ boundaries of the Philippines that are inside Taiwan's EEZ.  This area of dispute is well defined geographically, and can be date stamped to a past date, such as January 1, 2013.  In the case of the Sino-Indian Dispute, the boundaries of the territory in dispute are defined by the claims of China on territory inside India's effective line of control, and the claims of India on territory inside China's line of control, which have been presented by both sides to each other in the past, and can be dated to January 1, 2013 as well.  The territories to be put on auction do not preclude the bidder from offering other territories outside this disputed territory or monetary considerations as an exchange value, which the other side would have to pay in the first round to get the disputed area of interest, and which it would have to pay if it got the disputed area by means of a random device.  Obviously, such "other territories" must be something that belongs to the universal set of disputed territories or which ever side demanded it in the first round would not be able to pay up in the second round, but money is certainly possible as an added consideration.

Think about it.

Copyright reserved to me, Abramicus.

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Post time 2013-5-20 05:16:13 |Display all floors
What if all the countries with claims shared the resources according to a (hard-to-develop) formula and created a joint EEZ.
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Post time 2013-5-20 09:20:36 |Display all floors
This post was edited by abramicus at 2013-5-20 09:38
Ted180 Post time: 2013-5-20 05:16
What if all the countries with claims shared the resources according to a (hard-to-develop) formula  ...

There may be a solution to a n-person game using this paradigm.

As usual, we start out with defining the boundaries of the n-disputed region.  Let us say we have applied the 2-person formula described in the preceding post such that all 2-person disputes have been resolved.  Now, we are left with regions where there are 3 or more claimants.  This region may contain sub-regions where there are 4 or more claimants, etc.  Therefore, we should solve the 3-person model before we attack the higher n-person disputes.

Let us say the area of interest is EEZ where the dispute is between China/Taiwan, Vietnam and the Philippines.  We have to lump China and Taiwan together as one identical person because that is how they are treated by other countries when it comes to sovereignty issues, as otherwise, China and Taiwan being separate, could have two equal claims in place of their original one, to the disadvantage of other countries.  EEZ boundaries can be deduced from UNCLOS rules.  LAC of India and China are already well accepted by both sides.  But boundaries of sovereignty in the South China Sea are based on historical evidence that no two sides can agree on, and therefore, without that basis to define the area of dispute, cutting the cake in this instance would be hard to do.  You need to agree first on what is the cake to be cut.  So, in this example, we have to limit ourselves to the disputed EEZ's, which do not involve disputes of sovereignty, i.e., the Spratly Islands would not be a suitable object for such analysis.

First, we exclude the regions that are strictly a 2-person issue, and resolve them with the prior procedure.

Second, we define the region where all three have overlapping claims, with real boundary lines, and dated to a specific date for historical reference.

Third, each party will list down iwhat it demands for each part of the region in dispute.

There are many paths one could take from hereon, which is uncharted territory, some of which are paradoxical, some impossible, and some outright ridiculous.  Clearly, beyond the Cake-cutting and the Dice-throwing, we need another mechanism to deal with this higher level of complexity as regards what is a fair division, what is a fair decision of who gets what.  It may be difficult, but I think it is entirely possible to come up with such a paradigm.  I will be back on this issue.  But first, let me eat my cake.

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Post time 2013-5-20 18:05:36 |Display all floors
Abramicus, you are obviously smarter than me and a mathematician-logician. And I admire your rational approach to resolving this conflict. I want to be your friend.
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Post time 2013-5-20 18:19:13 |Display all floors
How about a drinking competition?

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Post time 2013-5-20 19:58:47 |Display all floors
If reconciliation between China's mainland and China's Taiwan is already difficult, how easy will it be talking to others. So its better that China solve its own unification problem first before resolving territorial disputes. No country will want to pay a price because no one thinks the other party has any right to receive in the first place.

The region under dispute is not the sole subject of interest to China, Vietnam and Philippines only but also to foreign powers' and maybe even some of their South East Asia friends via Vietnam or Philippines. Since for many good reasons China should not use its size to muscle out Vietnam and Philippines, so only until China, Vietnam and Philippines finally sit down as one no solution is probable. Be patient these three will wise up some day but not just now. For now maintaining peace is of paramount importance and if possible restore the friendship and trust.   

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