Admiral Michael McDevitt (Ret.) of the Center for Naval Analyses and Cortez Cooper of the RAND Corporation sit down with AMTI director Gregory Poling to look at new imagery of Chinese point defenses on the Spratly Islands.
Except for the work of a few analysts like Carlyle Thayer, Daniel Schaeffer, and Leszek Buszynski, the role of bathymetry and submarine warfare in the Spratly Islands dispute has been largely ignored. To better understand this aspect of the dispute, it is necessary to dispel the myth of the Spratlys as an area of shallow […]
The United States needs to demonstrate the will to challenge China and a specific plan to counteract Chinese measures.
Taiwanese influence arbitration in the South China Sea
To block Chinese reclamation, Philippine assets must prepare to take the lead in intervention at short notice.
This promises to be a landmark year for the claimant countries and other interested parties in the South China Sea disputes. Developments that have been underway for several years, especially China’s island-building campaign in the Spratlys and Manila’s arbitration case against Beijing, will come to fruition. These and other developments will draw outside players, including […]
I visited Itu Aba, or Taiping Island in Chinese, on December 12 alongside a group of high-ranking Taiwanese government officials to attend the opening ceremonies for new piers and a lighthouse. It was my fourth visit to the island. These visits provided me an opportunity to answer for myself the following questions being asked of […]
Itu Aba/Taiping Island is the largest naturally-formed feature in the disputed Spratly Islands and the only one occupied by the Republic of China (Taiwan). Its legal status has become a topic of heated debate as the Philippines has argued before an arbitral tribunal at The Hague that Itu Aba cannot sustain human habitation or independent […]
Thitu Island, called Pag-asa in Filipino, is the largest of the disputed Spratly Islands occupied by the Philippines. It is also the only one that is home to a civilian population. In addition to a small number of military personnel, over 100 civilians, mostly civil servants and their families, live on Thitu. The island is […]
The United States has started long overdue freedom of navigation (FON) operations in the South China Sea. Washington launched the FON program in 1979 to challenge coastal states’ excessive maritime claims through diplomatic engagement and operational assertion. During the Cold War the United States conducted FON operations in Soviet territorial seas, where Moscow did not […]
Bonnie Glaser, director of the CSIS China Power Project, sits down with CogitAsia editor Jeffrey Bean to discuss the U.S. Navy’s recent freedom of navigation operation in the South China Sea and assess China’s reaction. This interview was originally recorded for the CogitAsia Podcast.
While China conducts innocent passage around real U.S. islands of Alaska, the U.S. is apparently unable to do so around China’s fake islands in the South China Sea. The transit by Chinese warships in innocent passage through the territorial sea of Attu Island in the Aleutian chain has added an additional wrinkle to U.S. policy […]
AMTI has asked some of its favorite maritime strategists—BJ Armstrong, Scott Cheney-Peters, James Holmes, Peter Mattis, and Bryan McGrath— to weigh in on the Pentagon’s new Asia-Pacific Maritime Security Strategy for Asia. What does the report contribute to existing US national security strategy, and does it meet the mandate set out in the NDAA? What […]
On August 20, The Department of Defense released its Asia-Pacific Maritime Security Strategy. Mandated by Section 1259 of the FY 2015 National Defense Authorization Act, the report outlines DOD’s strategy for maritime security in the region. On August 21, Assistant Secretary of Defense David Shear briefed the press on the new document. Team AMTI commends […]
Over the past few months, speculation about possible Japanese patrols in the South China Sea has attracted media attention. The United States’ 7th Fleet Commander welcomed such patrol by the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF), while Japan’s defense minister and top uniform officer responded cautiously but positively. Japan renounced all of its claims in the […]
More than any country in the region, the Philippines has sought to protect its territorial integrity through “lawfare” (legal warfare), taking China to the court over maritime disputes in the South China Sea. Perturbed by China’s growing assertiveness across disputed waters, evident in its expanded para-military patrols, massive reclamation activities, and regular military drills in […]
Increased tensions over China’s maritime sovereignty claims in the Western Pacific pose a challenge for the international system. A confrontation between China and Japan in the East China Sea continues mainly between Japan’s national coast guard ships and China’s government and civilian fishery vessels, but it seems to have reached a kind of moderate stalemate […]
Although China is not the first state to build an airstrip in the South China Sea, it is the first state to employ island-building technologies to transform a contested maritime feature into a military base that extends the reach of offensive military capabilities. Other countries have worked to project power to contested South China Sea […]
On June 16, 2015, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman 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 went on to note that after land reclamation on existing features was complete, China would continue to […]
Source image: Google Earth This map shows four land features in the Spratly Islands that have undergone significant construction or land reclamation work in the past year. They are: Itu Aba, Gaven Reef, Johnson South Reef, and Fiery Cross Reef. Read more details about the features of these projects and use click and drag the […]