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.
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.
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.
The Hague’s Permanent Court of Arbitration ruled in favor of the Philippines, citing multiple Chinese violations of international law.
The Australian Defence White Paper was a long time coming, but it was worth the wait. From an American perspective, the White Paper is a carefully crafted document that will leave many in Washington both pleased with and envious of Canberra’s strategic conceptualisation and connection of ends and means. The White Paper notes that ‘a […]
The recent deployment of Chinese surface-to-air missiles (SAMs) to Woody Island is a notable tactical development, but a far more significant strategic signal. Tactically, the HQ-9 batteries deployed to Woody Island could target aircraft at ranges up to 125 miles (200 kilometers), covering much of the Paracel Islands, which are also claimed by Vietnam and […]
After months of internal debate within the Obama administration, the guided missile destroyer USS Lassentransited within 12 nautical miles of Subi Reef, one of China’s artificially-built features in the South China Sea, on October 27 in what is termed a “freedom of navigation” (FON) operation. It was accompanied by two maritime surveillance aircraft, a P-8A […]
Introducing our New AMTI Director: Greg Poling By Michael J. Green Senior Vice President for Asia and Japan Chair, CSIS Chairman of the Editorial Board, AMTI CSIS is proud to announce our first “hail and farewell” at AMTI. We began in 2013 with an idea for a multimedia platform to promote transparency in maritime Asia […]
When Japan surrendered 70 years ago this month, the United States stood supreme in the Pacific. Only the Royal Navy and Royal Australian Navy had surface combatants that could roam freely from the Indian Ocean to the East China Sea and these remained a fraction of the massive “Big Blue Fleet” the U.S. Navy had […]
Q1: What has China announced about its land reclamation activities in the Spratly Islands? A1: On June 16, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang announced that “as planned, the land reclamation project of China’s construction on some stationed islands and reefs of the Nansha (Spratly) Islands will be completed in the upcoming days.” He noted […]
On Saturday morning at the Shangri-La defense dialogue in Singapore, U.S. Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter delivered a long-anticipated speech on security issues in Asia. As tensions have mounted over China’s island building in the South China Sea, Carter has been one of the administration’s strongest voices, calling the militarization of the islands a challenge […]
As delegates assemble for the 14th annual Asia Security Summit, better known as the Shangri-La Dialogue, regional tensions are running high over China’s island building in the South China Sea. As the weekend summit gets under way, here are the issues to watch. Stormy Seas and Skies: In the last several months, the region and […]
As AMTI readers know well, tensions between Japan and China over the Senkaku Islands have been running high since 2010. Despite a partial thaw when Prime Minister Shinzo Abe met with President Xi Jinping last December, Beijing continues to put steady pressure on Tokyo’s control of the islands with regular maritime and aerial incursions and […]
There is robust support for the pivot to Asia in the United States and the region, but there are questions about the goal of the strategy and the resources available. U.S. agencies have made parallel efforts to expand engagement in Asia, but there is no unifying strategic plan that aligns these efforts to national goals. […]
Despite the growing interest in maritime security in the Indo-Pacific region among experts, it remains an open question how focused the Obama administration will be on the challenges in that region in 2015. It is doubtful that the security of the offshore Pacific island chain ranks in the top five issues for National Security Advisor […]
On November 10, 2014, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan and President Xi Jinping of China held a bilateral meeting on the margins of APEC in Beijing. Though a summit meeting between these two Asian giants should be a matter of course given their economic interdependence and rising geopolitical tensions, the Chinese side had refused […]
Five years ago, it would have been difficult to imagine that eminent historians and political scientists would draw analogies between territorial issues in the East and South China Seas, and the Balkans on the eve of the First World War. Yet in the very recent past, maritime claims, resource competition, and contentious international arbitration in the […]