The South China Sea extends from the Strait of Malacca in the
southwest, to the Strait of Taiwan in the northeast. Over 500
million people in China, Taiwan, the Philippines, Malaysia,
Brunei, Indonesia, Singapore, Cambodia, Thailand, and Vietnam
live within 100 miles of its coastline.
Biodiversity and and Natural Resources:
It has a remarkable amount of biological diversity, including
over 30% of the world's coral reefs and many valuable fisheries.
It is also thought to contain abundant oil and natural gas,
a prospect of vital interest to the energy-importing countries
around the region.
lines of communication:
It is one of the world's busiest international sea-lanes with
many of the world's busiest shipping ports. Over half of the
world's oil tanker traffic and over half of the world's merchant
fleet (by tonnage) sail through its waters every year. It is
a strategic maritime link between the Pacific Ocean and the
Indian Ocean, and therefore of paramount importance to major
Regional solutions for Regional problems:
The South China Sea is an area of growing concern over conflicting
territorial claims, piracy, poaching, resource depletion, pollution,
drug trafficking, illegal migration, and terrorism threats.
are the peoples and governments around the South China Sea doing
about these problems in their common resource? How will they
avoid a maritime tragedy of the commons? This web site provides
information and analysis for
students, scholars and policy-makers interested in South China
Sea regional development, environment, and security issues.
more information, see:
Why a South
China Sea Website? An Introductory Essay
Maritime Security in the South China Sea
the Resources of the China Seas: China's Bilateral Fisheries
Agreements with Japan, South Korea, & Vietnam
Maritime Security in
the South China Sea: Coordinating Coastal and User State Priorities.
Review Essay on ASEAN-China Relations: Realities and Prospects
Contested Borderlands of the
South China Sea, BBC World Service, 21 April 2009.
Political Economy of Piracy in the South China Sea, Naval War
College Review, Summer 2009