About AMTI




The center of gravity in world affairs has shifted to Asia. No other region will do more to determine whether the 21st century will be a peaceful and prosperous one. For this reason, it is imperative that Pacific nations do everything in their power to reduce the risk of inadvertent or accidental conflict.

The maritime environment in East Asia contains both promise and peril. The Indo-Pacific region is host to some of the world’s most important shipping lanes, facilitates huge volumes of regional trade, and boasts abundant natural resources. Competing territorial claims, incidents between neighboring countries, and increasing militarization, however, raise the possibility that an isolated event at sea could become a geopolitical catastrophe. This is all occurring against a backdrop of relative opaqueness. Geography makes it difficult to monitor events as they occur, and there is no public, reliable authority for information on maritime developments.

The Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative seeks to change this. AMTI was conceived of and designed by CSIS. It is an interactive, regularly-updated source for information, analysis, and policy exchange on maritime security issues in Asia. AMTI aims to promote transparency in the Indo-Pacific to dissuade assertive behavior and conflict and generate opportunities for cooperation and confidence building. Because AMTI aims to provide an objective platform for exchange, AMTI and CSIS take no position on territorial or maritime claims. For consistency, all geographic locations are identified using the naming conventions of the United States Government as determined by the U.S. Board on Geographic Names.

The foundation of AMTI is the integrity of the information we present. AMTI aggregates information from news sources, as well as specially designated research and nonprofit organizations, public sector institutions in Asia, and individuals. There may be rare instances where AMTI will be asked to keep the source of a particular piece of information confidential. We will do so in select cases provided the information passes our rigorous vetting process and serves the interests of the project.

Before posting any material, the AMTI team will scrutinize all information using a multistage vetting process. That process will be guided by the following four questions:

  • Is the source of the information credible? Could they reasonably know what they claim to know?
  • Is there corroborating evidence? Do other reliable sources provide similar accounts of the same event or occurrence?
  • Does evidence exist that is directly contradictory to this account? If so, how credible is the source of that evidence, and can it be corroborated by additional sources?
  • If contradictory but credible accounts of the same event exists, how do scholars with deep knowledge of the countries involved interpret the events?

There may be circumstances when AMTI cannot confidently de-conflict contradictory but credible accounts of the same event. In such cases, we will be guided by our advisory board as to whether to post the event showing multiple, plausible accounts, or await further information.

The editorial contributors to AMTI conduct their analysis in their personal capacity using the judgment and expertise they have acquired as scholars and officials. All contributors have complete intellectual independence in their commentary, and have been invited to share their personal and national perspectives. The goal of AMTI is not to promote a particular point of view, but to serve as a clearinghouse for divergent views that are based on the same set of facts.

AMTI is made possible by Asia Program internal funding as well as a start-up grant from the Brzezinski Institute on Geostrategy. CSIS is in the process of soliciting funding for the initiative from governments in Asia, as well as corporate and foundation support. We will update the list of funders in the months ahead. To learn more about how to support AMTI, please contact us.

For more information about AMTI, please contact the Initiative Director, Gregory Poling, at AMTI@csis.org.

AMTI Leadership


Mike Green

Dr. Michael Green
Senior Vice President for Asia and Japan Chair

Michael Jonathan Green is senior vice president for Asia and Japan Chair at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) and an associate professor at the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University.

Gregory Poling

Greg Poling
Director

Gregory B. Poling is director of the Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative and a fellow with the Southeast Asia Program at CSIS. He oversees research on U.S. foreign policy in the Asia Pacific, with a particular focus on the maritime domain and the countries of Southeast Asia. His research interests include the South China Sea disputes, democratization in Southeast Asia, and Asian multilateralism.

Will Colson

William Colson
Project Associate

William Colson is a research assistant with the Japan Chair at CSIS, where he manages projects that focus on East Asian economics, security, and U.S.-Japan relations.

Editorial Contributors


Michael J. Green, CSIS
Victor Cha, CSIS
Ernest Z. Bower, CSIS
Christopher K. Johnson, CSIS
Bonnie S. Glaser, CSIS
Richard M. Rossow, CSIS
Andrew Kuchins, CSIS
Matthew Waxman, Columbia Law School
Gary Roughead, Hoover Institution and
Former U.S. Chief of Naval Operations

Yann-huei Song, Academia Sinica, Taiwan
Rory Medcalf, Lowy Institute
for International Policy and the Australian National University

Tetsuo Kotani, Japan Institute of International Affairs
Shin Chang-Hoon, Asan Institute, Korea
Zhu Feng, Nanjing University, China
Renato Cruz de Castro,
De La Salle University, Philippines
Tran Truong Thuy, Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam
Nicholas Khoo,
University of Otago, New Zealand

Advisory Board


Michael J. Green, Senior Vice President for the Asia Program and Japan Chair, CSIS
Victor Cha, Senior Adviser and Korea Chair, CSIS
Ernest Z. Bower, Senior Adviser and Sumitro Chair for Southeast Asia Studies, CSIS
Christopher K. Johnson, Senior Adviser and Freeman Chair in China Studies, CSIS
Bonnie S. Glaser, Senior Adviser for Asia, Freeman Chair in China Studies, CSIS
Richard M. Rossow, Senior Fellow and Wadhwani Chair in US-India Policy Studies, CSIS
Craig Cohen, Executive Vice President, CSIS
Zack Cooper, Fellow, Japan Chair, CSIS
Nicholas Szechenyi, Deputy Director and Senior Fellow, Japan Chair, CSIS

Ex Officio Board


John J. Hamre, President, CEO, Pritzker Chair, CSIS
Kathleen H. Hicks, Senior VP, Henry A. Kissinger Chair, and Director, International Security Program, CSIS
James A. Lewis, Director and Senior Fellow, Strategic Technologies Program, CSIS
Andrew Kuchins, Director and Senior Fellow, Russia and Eurasia Program, CSIS

Web Development Team


AMTI is a product of the Andreas C. Dracopoulos Family Ideas Lab, the in-house media and interactive design studio at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Paul Franz, Lead Developer and Project Manager
Alison Bours, Visual Design Lead
Willa Hine, Front-end Developer
Sam Ellis, Nirja Desai, and Caroline Amenabar Infographics and Motion Design
Colm Quinn, Engagement Manager

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Promoting openness and exchange in maritime Asia.