Analysis

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

Opportunism and Opportunity: Responding to Beijing’s Push in the South China Sea

During my visit to Hainan last December, the mood among Chinese officials was largely somber. Despite the triumphant launch of the country’s first indigenously-built aircraft carrier, attended by no less than President Xi Jinping, there was a profound sense of foreboding. The Chinese leader warned of  the “grey rhinos” of domestic economic imbalances and “black […]

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 […]