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: Cooperation “of the Right Time, in the Right Place and with the Support of the People”

Amid reports that construction on key Chinese-held reefs and islands is nearing completion, Chinese officials stated that the installations were for primarily civilian purposes, and suggested that coastal Asian nations should cooperate to realize their mutual interests.


Tracking Compliance with the South China Sea Arbitral Award: China’s 2017 Summer Fishing Moratorium May Rekindle Conflict with the Philippines

The Chinese Ministry of Agriculture's summer fishing moratorium, which includes many parts of the South China Sea, confirms that China continues to violate important elements of international maritime law and threatens to undermine the budding China-Philippines rapprochement.

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