South China Sea

US Navy

The South China Sea, home to a wealth of oil and natural gas deposits, is the subject of numerous territorial disputes between the People's Republic of China, the Republic of China (Taiwan), Malaysia, Brunei, the Philippines, and Vietnam. Beyond the natural resources in the region, there are also vital international trade routes--  about half of all oil tanker shipments cross the South China Sea-- military bases, and fisheries. China, in particular, continues to increase its military presence in the area and island-building, putting both the region and the United States on alert.

Latest in South China Sea

Water Wars

Water Wars: AUKUS Goes Hypersonic

Biden administration delivers 2022 National Defense Strategy; China conducts militarization and secret diplomacy in the South China Sea; AUKUS announces new agreement to develop hypersonic weapons; U.S. and Philippine armed forces revive full-scale Joint Exercise Balikatan following coronavirus pause; and more.

Water Wars

Water Wars: Japan Focused on Defense Expansion, while U.S. Makes a Soft-Power Push

Japan boosts defense spending and emphasizes defense cooperation with the U.S. and Australia as the possibility of a Taiwan emergency grows, while the U.S. makes an economic push in Southeast Asia, and countries in the region continue their maritime defense buildups.

Water Wars

Water Wars: Japan Makes Major Defense Spending Pledges While China Increases Incursions in the South China Sea

Chinese incursions into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone continue to escalate; Japan makes unprecedented defense pledges, to China’s chagrin; U.S. submarine collision gives China an opportunity to push back on U.S. operations in South China Sea

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