For the Maritime Awareness Project, I wrote a short piece analyzing the location of China's seizure of an underwater unmanned vehicle, a drone. Most importantly, the drone was seized outsized the nine-dashed line depicted on Chinese maps and widely believed to represent China's maritime claims in the region. Read the piece here.
For The National Interest, I assess the strategic implications of the tribunal's award. I stress three implications: The award greatly narrows the scope of maritime entitlements that China (and others) can claim in the Spratlys to a 12 nautical mile territorial sea from naturally formed land features. The award sets precedent for how to determine whether [...]
For The Washington Post, I examine why China cares so much about its territorial claims in the South China Sea. I do so by comparing briefly why China was able to settle so many of its land boundary disputes but so few of its offshore island disputes. The reasons are: Offshore islands are more strategically [...]
I wrote the following for ChinaFile: My initial reaction is that the tribunal’s award overwhelmingly favors the Philippines—a huge win for Manila. China’s only lawful claims in the South China Sea would be 12nm territorial seas from land features in the Spratly Islands deemed to be rocks above high tide. China cannot claim an Exclusive [...]
For the Maritime Awareness Project, I examine how three recent fishing disputes between China and Indonesia prompted China to clarify its claims to historic rights. The result is a dispute over maritime jurisdiction of more than 94,000 square kilometers, where Indonesia's EEZ overlaps with China's nine-dashed line. Read the full piece here [or view it [...]
I have written a short piece for the South China Morning Post, which outlines how China may react to the arbitral tribunal’s award next week. I make three points: 1. The role of the tribunal in the South China Sea disputes is limited. The tribunal cannot rule on questions of disputed sovereignty of the islands and [...]
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 [...]
I recently published a short policy brief for the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies at Singapore's Nanyang Technological University that examines the evolution of U.S. policy toward the disputes in the South China Sea since 1995. Here's the executive summary: U.S. policy toward the disputes in the South China Sea has four features. First, [...]
Yesterday, I answered some questions from the NYT's Edward Wong on the standoff between China and Vietnam over China's deployment of an oil rig in the South China Sea. Click here for all the details.
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) [...]