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Strategies on territorial acquisition- a case study on the Pedra Branca dispute

Yulong Dai

vol. VIII(1)

Pages 76-89


Abstract: In May 2008, the International Court of Justice announced the

decision of the case concerning disputes over the sovereignty of Pedra

Branca, Middle Rocks and South Ledge. The two disputed islands,

Pedra Branca and South Ledge, were respectively awarded to Singapore

and Malaysia while South Ledge remained undecided. Singapore’s size

is comparatively tinier than Malaysia. Its winning of sovereignty over

Pedra Branca has manifested a possibility of how a smaller and weaker

country could peacefully acquire a disputed territory from its stronger

opponent while maintaining amicable relations with it. Singapore has

reached the maximization of its interest though it was not awarded all

the disputed islets by the Court. This article aims to examine these four

strategies adopted by Singapore and the dynamics of how they helped

promote Singapore’s success.

Keywords: Strategy, Territorial Acquisition, Pedra Branca Dispute

Yulong Dai
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