South China Sea

A protest against continued Chinese intrusions in Philippine waters

After 25 Years, There’s Still No South China Sea Code of Conduct

China’s reluctance has stifled diplomatic efforts—but they haven’t been futile.

Singaporean, Chinese, and French naval vessels sail near Changi Naval Base in Singapore on May 15, 2017.

Chinese-U.S. Split Is Forcing Singapore to Choose Sides

There is no sweet spot to keep both Beijing and Washington happy, but that hasn’t kept Singapore from trying.

Woman receives Sinovac vaccine in Indonesia

Indonesia Is Quietly Warming Up to China

Once inching toward war, the Asian giants are getting closer—while Washington seems unserious and disengaged.

Then-Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping accompanies then-U.S. Vice President Joe Biden.

Biden Looks for Defense Hotline With China

The United States says it’s ready to call China in a crisis. Will Beijing pick up?

Filipinos hold a mock Chinese flag with a collage of the faces of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and Chinese President Xi Jinping during an anti-China protest in Manila on July 12, 2019.

China Has Lost the Philippines Despite Duterte’s Best Efforts

Beijing’s growing aggressiveness is forcing Manila back into Washington’s camp.

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga speaks during a press conference.

The Summit That Can’t Fail

Japan’s prime minister visits Washington at a time when, thanks to Chinese aggressiveness, U.S.-Japan relations are critical.

A U.S. aircraft carrier leaves its San Diego port.

Will Americans Die for Freedom of Navigation?

The Navy’s favorite tool in Asia is deeply flawed.

A Chinese ship at sea, visible through mist.

China’s Secretive Maritime Militia May Be Gathering at Whitsun Reef

Boats designed to overwhelm civilian foes can be turned into shields in real conflict.

Chinese sailors march in formation during a parade to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China at Tiananmen Square in Beijing, on Oct. 1, 2019.

Biden Must Keep Challenging China on Freedom of Navigation

The dispute around the South China Sea remains the most volatile and vital in U.S.-China relations.

In a photo released by Taiwan's Ministry of National Defense on May 11, 2018, a Taiwanese Air Force fighter jet flies near a Chinese People's Liberation Army Air Force bomber that reportedly flew over the Luzon Strait south of Taiwan during an exercise.

Beijing’s Welcome Gift to Biden: More Threats and Tensions

If China is seeking a reset of relations, it has a strange way of showing it.

Chinese fishing boats set off after being moored for more than three months in Taizhou, China, due to the annual fishing ban on the East China Sea on Sept. 16, 2014.

China’s Monster Fishing Fleet

Though not alone in its destructive practices, Beijing’s rapacious fleet causes humanitarian disasters and has a unique military mission.

The Chinese aircraft carrier Liaoning and other ships sail during a naval drill in the East China Sea in April 2018.

The Next Front in the India-China Conflict Could Be a Thai Canal

India is beefing up its island defenses as Beijing seeks a quicker route to the Indian Ocean.

Protesters march on the street chanting and carrying anti-China slogans on Nov. 20, 2018 in Makati, Philippines.

Southeast Asia is Ground Zero in the New U.S.-China Conflict—and Beijing Is Winning

‘Under Beijing’s Shadow’ lays out in compelling detail how China is working to dominate the region.

The U.S. Coast Guard cutter Bertholf maneuvers during a joint search and rescue operation with the Philippine coast guard near the disputed Scarborough Shoal on May 14, 2019.

Pompeo Draws a Line Against Beijing in the South China Sea

The United States has aligned itself on the side of international law, but backing up a tough statement will be hard.

This aerial photo taken on January 2, 2017 shows a Chinese navy formation, including the aircraft carrier Liaoning (C), during military drills in the South China Sea.

The U.S. Declared China’s South China Sea Claims ‘Unlawful.’ Now What?

The announcement by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo brings the United States in line with international law and opens the door for sanctions and a more unified response to Chinese “bullying” in the key waterway.

A U.S. F/A-18 hornet fighter prepares to land while other fighter jets fly behind during a routine training aboard the U.S. aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt in the South China Sea

U.S. Carriers Send a Message to Beijing Over South China Sea

“China is just pushing on all fronts,” a former defense official told Foreign Policy. “I’m worried at some point that the dam is going to break somewhere.”

Chinese soldiers march during a military parade on Oct. 1, 2019 in Beijing.

China’s Superpower Dreams Are Running Out of Money

When the coronavirus crisis is over, China will be forced to embrace a less ambitious future.

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