Since the South China Sea reemerged around 2008 as a hotspot of simmering conflict, conventional wisdom has held that tension in the area is driving an arms race among its littoral countries. A closer look at the facts and trends suggests otherwise.
Read commentary and analysis from the top AMTI experts on maritime Asia.
With threats to sever or downgrade security relations with the United States alongside a courting of non-traditional security partners China and Russia, how will the Philippines’ security relations with established partners proceed under President Rodrigo Duterte?
Three newly-discovered official Chinese documents from 2009 and interviews conducted on Ly Son island in 2016 confirm accounts that Chinese uniformed personnel, on Chinese government ships, repeatedly kidnapped Vietnamese fishermen for ransom near the disputed Paracel Islands from 2005 to 2012.
The international legal obligation to cooperate on fisheries management and the environment is matched by practical necessity. Communities all around the South China Sea are highly dependent on fish stocks for both food security and local livelihoods. Yet the region has seen catch rates plummet in recent years thanks to a combination of overfishing and willful environmental destruction.
AMTI director Gregory Poling speaks with CSIS experts Sarah Watson and Zack Cooper about the months-long standoff between India and China over the Doklam plateau. The conversation covers the origins of the conflict, the resolution of the current crisis, and how the lessons learned can be applied by other states facing Chinese coercion.
As the 2017 chairman of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, Duterte has soft-pedaled on the South China Sea disputes in an effort to please China. The upshot is the regional body’s fast slide into irrelevance in shaping the regional security architecture.
Since October 2015, the United States has conducted seven freedom of navigation operations that seek to challenge specific Chinese claims in the South China Sea. Eleanor Freund of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs recently published a report on the FONOPs program that details exactly how the U.S. Navy challenged five of those seven claims, as well as explaining the purpose and utility of the program in the South China Sea.
In this podcast we discuss altering the U.S. policy approach to the South China Sea. Where does the South China Sea rank in the pecking order of U.S. policy interests? How much risk should America be willing to take over these disputed waters?