Podcast: The Doklam Standoff and Lessons for Maritime Asia, with Zack Cooper and Sarah Watson

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.

Counter-Coercion Series: Senkaku Islands Nationalization Crisis

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.

Counter-Coercion Series: China-Vietnam Oil Rig Standoff

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 […]

Counter-Coercion Series: Second Thomas Shoal Incident

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.

Counter-Coercion Series: “Top Gun” Incident

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.

Counter-Coercion Series: Harassment of the USNS Impeccable

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 […]

Countering Coercion in Maritime Asia

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.

Setting a high bar down under: An American perspective on Australia’s White Paper

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 […]

Seeing the Forest through the SAMs on Woody Island

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 […]