Analysis

Read commentary and analysis from the top AMTI experts on maritime Asia.

Vietnam’s Maritime Militia Is Not a Black Hole in the South China Sea

A series of recent reports from the South China Sea Strategic Situation Probing Initiative (SCSPI) at Peking University’s Institute of Ocean Research have arbitrarily labeled Vietnamese fishermen as “maritime militia” based on limited AIS data without further supporting evidence. But without a clear understanding of the Vietnamese maritime militia, such arguments are at best whataboutism […]

Sansha and the Expansion of China’s South China Sea Administration

On April 18, China’s State Council announced its decision to establish two new districts in Sansha City, a prefecture-level city (地级市) headquartered on Woody Island which governs the bulk of China’s territorial claims in the South China Sea. Some observers may dismiss the creation of these districts as a symbolic but ultimately inconsequential demonstration of […]

Fishing While the Water is Muddy: China’s newly announced administrative districts in the South China Sea

On April 18, China’s Ministry of Civil Affairs unilaterally announced the establishment of two new administrative structures in the South China Sea: Xisha district, covering the Paracel Islands and Macclesfield Bank, and Nansha district, covering the Spartly Islands, both of which are also claimed by Vietnam. The new administrative districts are to be under the […]

Vietnam’s Note Verbale on the South China Sea

Malaysia’s recent submission to the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf has triggered a note-verbale debate between claimants in the South China Sea. After China and the Philippines, Vietnam is the latest to join the debate with a note to protest not only Malaysia’s claims, but China’s as well. Vietnam’s note verbale, dated […]