Tag Archives: Analysis

Riding the Tiger of Anti-U.S. Sentiment in the South China Sea

The South China Sea has long been the focus of simmering maritime disputes between China, which claims sovereignty over almost all of the sea, and its neighbors in the Asia-Pacific, each with smaller overlapping claims. But strains between China and the United States have increased since February, when satellite images revealed that Chinese vessels are […]

Law of the sea or law of the jungle? – Max Herriman

Recently, I was invited to Hong Kong to participate in a discussion with eminent scholars on the topic of fisheries management in the South China Sea. In order to broaden our perspective, a dear friend and highly respected Chinese professor kindly talked us through Chinese claims in the South China Sea. Her summary of the […]

How China stealthily built a ‘kill chain’ in the South China Sea

The last year has seen some unusual construction going on in the South China Sea. China has been building small islands from existing reefs with the purpose of placing military bases — including airfields — on them. These new islands will give China additional military presence in the region, and reinforce Beijing’s claims on a […]

Why is China Militarising the South China Sea?

What really explains Beijing’s decision to build military installations in the disputed waters of the South China Sea? Sukjoon Yoon thinks that we should view China’s militarization of the region as a misguided political choice rather than a desire for increased military flexibility. By Sukjoon Yoon for RSIS This commentary was originally published by the […]

West Philippine Sea: Are we running out of options?

For decades, China’s foreign policy has been shaped and guided by Deng Xiaoping’s – the late Chinese paramount leader, who was responsible for opening up the country to forces of globalization – famous dictum: “Hide your strength, bide your time.” Recognizing the imperative of national development, after decades of disastrous policies under the megalomaniac Mao […]

Stopping China and avoiding war

In the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea), China continues its “reclamation” projects on several disputed reefs which appears to be future airstrips and harbors meant to accommodate jets and warships. Aside from posing security threats to countries in Southeast Asia, these reclamation projects have also been termed as an ecological catastrophe because the reclamation destroys the […]

41 Years in the Making: Why China’s South China Sea Plan Will Fail

While China’s recent assertiveness in the South China Sea might shock and surprise today’s observers, its behavior has actually been remarkably consistent over recent decades. China first exercised its power in the region in January 1974 when it ejected South Vietnam from the Crescent Islands. In March 1988, the Chinese Navy clashed with Vietnamese vessels, […]


Abstract : Several authors writing about the Chinese claim to the Paracel Islands have dated the first official Chinese expedition to these islands to 1902. However, none of these writers have been able to show any records of this expedition taking place. In fact, Chinese records show that the expedition never happened. Instead, a secret […]

China’s New Airstrip in the South China Sea Is Almost Completed

China is close to completing the construction of an airstrip on a tiny outcrop in the South China Sea, heightening its ability to project power regionally from the disputed waters and further raising the stakes in an increasingly tense showdown between Beijing, its neighbors, and the United States. New satellite images provided to Foreign Policy […]

Beijing’s Fait Accompli in the South China Sea

Unprecedented? Or perhaps even refreshing? For the first time, Beijing has offered a more elaborate clarification about its recent activities in the South China Sea? Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokeswoman Hua Chunying, in response to a question posed during the ministry press conference on April 9 about Chinese land reclamation around the Meiji Reef […]