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?
The Seventh Annual CSIS South China Sea Conference on July 18 brought together security, legal, and environmental experts to review events of the past year. The participants had a lot of ground to cover: the impact of the arbitral tribunal’s award in Manila’s case against Beijing, the near-completion of China’s artificial island bases in the Spratly Islands, and the […]
This episode of the CSIS CogitAsia podcast discusses maritime coercion in the Asia Pacific. Chinese actions in maritime Asia have led to a great deal of concern and commentary since disputes in the East and South China Seas have come to the forefront in recent years. CSIS’s Asia Program and International Security Program recently published a […]
AMTI director Gregory Poling speaks with Chatham House's Bill Hayton about the withdrawal of the Repsol gas-drilling expedition from Vietnam’s block 136-03, Beijing’s strong-arm tactics against Hanoi, and implications for the long-simmering Sino-Vietnamese conflict over energy deposits in the South China Sea.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s last-minute decision to add France to his Europe tour in early June is an indication of Delhi’s interest in engaging European powers in the Indian Ocean.
Simmering tensions between Beijing and Hanoi erupted recently due to disagreements over oil and gas exploration.
China and ASEAN inked the DOC in 2002, finalized guidelines for its implementation in 2011, and spent much of the last year negotiating a mysterious “framework” agreement. How much more “preparatory work” is needed before Beijing deems it the “proper time” for “substantive consultations” on a COC?
The latest iteration of the Shangri-La dialogue in Singapore (June 2-4), which brought together 23 defense ministers and hundreds of defense experts from all over the world, was dominated by three major strategic concerns.
In late 2011, Tokyo governor Shintaro Ishihara launched negotiations with the private Japanese owner of three of the disputed Senkaku Islands (administered by Japan but claimed by China and Taiwan). A government ministry had been leasing three islets—Uotsuri, Kita, and Minami—from owner Kunioki Kurihara for years to prevent hardliners from developing them or otherwise inflaming the dispute. Yet, hobbled by large business debts, Kurihara had recently decided to sell.
China’s East China Sea Air Defense Identification Zone, a flashpoint since 2012, led to a palpable hardening of views in Washington on Chinese intentions. At the same time, despite some risky incidents, the Chinese military still conducts most of its air intercepts professionally and safely.
This post summarizes one of nine case studies included in CSIS’s new report, Countering Coercion in Maritime Asia: The Theory and Practice of Gray Zone Deterrence. The full case study is also available for download here. (Principal case study researcher: Jake Douglas) On May 1, 2014, Vietnam detected the Haiyang Shiyou 981 (HYSY 981) oil […]
In May 2013, China increased its presence near a Philippine outpost in the South China Sea. Chinese coast guard and other vessels were spotted only a few miles from Second Thomas Shoal. Since 1999, Philippine marines have occupied a dilapidated warship—the BRP Sierra Madre—atop this coral atoll in the disputed Spratly Islands. Manila’s foreign affairs department protested the onset of continuous Chinese patrols, calling them “provocative and illegal.” Other leaders acknowledged that Beijing could not be lawfully denied freedom of navigation around the reef, but still feared for the safety of Manila’s supply lines to its dilapidated garrison.
The results of the 30th ASEAN Summit, held in Manila on April 29, were somewhat disappointing—though not surprising.
Scarborough Shoal is widely seen as the most palpable erosion of stability in the South China Sea since 2012. Three conclusions about the standoff, especially its initial stages, highlight opportunities to better manage disputes in the years ahead.
Although often overshadowed by the 2012 nationalization crisis, the 2010 Senkaku trawler collision laid the foundation for heightened brinkmanship in the East China Sea.
On August 19, 2014, a Chinese J-11B fighter dangerously intercepted a U.S. Navy P-8A Poseidon patrol aircraft 135 miles east of Hainan Island. Media reports speculated that the U.S. surveillance effort was focused on China’s Yulin submarine base at nearby Hainan. U.S. officials soon divulged that this was just the latest in a string of at least four unsafe encounters since March of that year.
In what might be an event soon forgotten by the international community, China’s paramilitary forces once again demonstrated their willingness to use force to intimidate other countries and risk escalation. Although the specifics of the incident remain sketchy, reports indicate that on March 27 a speedboat, presumably operated by the China Coast Guard, fired seven times upon the unarmed Princess Johann, a Filipino fishing trawler, while the vessel was operating near Union Banks in the Spratly Islands, which is near Gaven Reef - one of China’s newly built artificial islands. It is unknown whether the incident occurred within the exclusive economic zone of the Philippines, international waters, or the territorial sea of a disputed feature. What is clear, however, is that incidents akin to what occurred at Union Banks could undermine the recent warming of relations between China and the Philippines, and underscore the need for a binding Code of Conduct (COC) for the South China Sea.
This post summarizes one of nine case studies included in CSIS’s new report, Countering Coercion in Maritime Asia: The Theory and Practice of Gray Zone Deterrence. The full case study is also available for download here. (Principal case study researcher: Jake Douglas) The United States and China have long disagreed about the permissibility of certain […]
A new CSIS study, Countering Coercion in Maritime Asia: The Theory and Practice of Gray Zone Deterrence, reviews the academic literature on deterrence, examines recent incidents of gray zone coercion, and draws lessons for policymakers. The authors hope that this analysis will provide insights to current and future leaders in the United States and East Asia about how to strengthen regional security and international order in the years ahead.
Although many analyses focus on China’s military build-up on Woody Island, it is also important to explore the non-military developments that are often found at the front line of maritime disputes in Asia.
Observers often attribute contradictory statements from the Duterte administration to the natural byproduct of having such a notoriously mercurial character as commander-in-chief. What this conventional strand of analysis misses is the fact that Duterte and his generals are in a constant low-intensity struggle over shaping the Philippines’ policies on sensitive territorial and strategic issues.
Have the United States and like-minded states already lost in the South China Sea? No, but they are losing, and quickly.
The official commissioning of six new Kilo submarines is a landmark moment for the Vietnam People's Navy in its transformation from a brown-water to a green-water navy.
Reports of Chinese oceanographic research vessels operating off the western coast of the Philippines in late 2016 have stirred up controversy in Manila this month. In this AMTI podcast, Greg Poling speaks with Peter Dutton, director of the China Maritime Studies Institute at the U.S. Naval War College, and Jay Batongbacal, director of the University of the Philippines’ Institute for Maritime Affairs and the Law of the Sea, to assess what the Chinese vessels were doing, whether it was legal, the public response, and what the controversy says about future cooperation between China and the Philippines
Taken collectively, Jokowi's Sea Policy does not yet appear to have fundamentally changed how the Indonesian government would implement or elevate the GMF.