Maritime Awareness Project

A new website that I've helped to develop, the Maritime Awareness Project, launched yesterday. The main feature is an interactive map that allows users to depict different dimensions of the dispute.  The goal is to illuminate the complexity and consequences of maritime disputes in the South China Sea and East China Sea. The site also [...]

China’s New Military Strategy

In a new article in the China Brief, I show that terminology in the 2015 defense white paper indicates that China has officially changed its national military strategy.  The goal of the new strategy is “winning informationized local wars,” with an emphasis on the maritime domain. This marks only the ninth military strategy that China [...]

Territorial and Maritime Boundary Disputes in Asia

My contribution to newly published The Oxford Handbook of the International Relations of Asia is a chapter on territorial and maritime boundary disputes in the region. The main findings from the chapter are: Since 1945, Asia has been more prone to conflict over territory than other regions in the world. Asia accounts for the greatest number of disputes [...]

The Oxford Handbook of the International Relations of Asia

Oxford University Press has recently published The Oxford Handbook of the International Relations of Asia, edited by Saadia Pekkanen, John Ravenhill, and Rosemary Foot.   The volume includes thirty-nine chapters, which cover all aspects of the international relations in the region. For folks who have access to the online series of Oxford handbooks, this volume is available here.  [...]

China, Japan, and the U.S.—Will Cooler Heads Prevail?

I joined the conversation over the Asia Society's ChinaFile on tensions between the China, the United States and Japan. Specifically, I addressed a question “will China attempt to take the Senkakus by force?” Let me pick up on Isaac’s first question, “will China attempt to take the Senkakus by force?” Iain Johnston and I recently analyzed data on the frequency [...]

Hainan’s New Fishing Rules: A Preliminary Analysis

Hainan’s provincial government has become an increasingly prominent and active player in the South China Sea disputes.  In November 2012, Hainan’s People’s Congress issued new regulations on coastal border security that raised questions about freedom for navigation in the South China Sea (see analysis hereand here). In November 2013, the same legislative body issued “measures” (banfa, 办法) [...]

The Long Littoral Project: South China Sea

The Center for Naval Analysis has released another volume from its "Long Littoral" project, which examines changing maritime dynamics in the Indo-Pacific from the Arabian Sea to the Sea of Japan. This volume looks at recent developments in the South China Sea. I authored one of the three chapters, "Growing Competition in the South China [...]

Sinica podcast

During a recent trip to Beijing, I met up with Kaiser Kuo, one of the hosts of the outstanding Sinica podcast. We discussed recent developments in China's maritime disputes in the East and South China Seas, as well as the state of the Chinese navy. You can listen to the podcast here.  I had so [...]

Redefining the Status Quo

The most striking feature of China’s behavior in its maritime disputes this year has been efforts to redefine the status quo.  In its disputes with the Philippines and Japan, China has used the presence of its civilian maritime law enforcement agencies to create new facts on the water to strengthen China’s sovereignty claims. Before April [...]

Something to Talk About in the East China Sea

The diplomatic stand off between China and Japan over the Senkaku / Diaoyu Islands has entered its third week without any signs of de-escalation.  Positions on both sides have hardened.  Each government has released detailed accounts of the bases for their claims (, ).  Talks earlier in the week between diplomats in Beijing yielded only an [...]