Policy Paper

Studying the South China Sea: The Chinese Perspective

By Yun Sun
in Program

Tensions in the oil-rich and strategically important South China Sea escalated in 2011, raising serious concerns about the danger of military conflicts between China and other claimant countries. Not only did China’s increased presence in the Spratly Islands lead to major incursions into waters claimed by the Philippines in the first five months of the year,1 two incidents of Chinese vessels cutting underwater cables intensified the confrontation between China and Vietnam, leading to Vietnam’s live-fire exercises and six military drills by China’s South Sea Fleet in June.2 Moreover, the Chinese Navy’s rising power projection capability in the South China Sea is rapidly changing the already unbalanced power structure. From Beijing’s perspective, U.S. intervention in the South China Sea increases the tension. 

This paper was originally written for the East and South China Sea Bulletin, and is available here

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