China's Naval Operations in the South China Sea: Evaluating Legal, Strategic and Military Factors

China's Naval Operations in the South China Sea: Evaluating Legal, Strategic and Military Factors

by Bruce Elleman


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This book provides a history of the South China Sea conflict and lays out the stakes for each of the bordering states and China's interaction with them - namely, Vietnam, the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia, Taiwan, and Indonesia; it also examines the U.S. government's role in the region. China's Naval Operations in the South China Sea is highly topical; it examines the evolving perception of the People's Republic of China's (PRC) of the South China Sea (SCS), and Beijing's accompanying maritime strategy to claim the islands and waters, particularly in the context of the strategies of the neighbouring stake-holding nations. In addition to long-standing territorial disputes over the islands and waters of the SCS, China and the other littoral states - Vietnam, the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia, Taiwan, and Indonesia - have growing and often mutually exclusive interests in the offshore energy reserves and fishing grounds. Many other countries outside of the region worry about the protection of sea lines of communication for military and commercial traffic, oil tankers in particular. These differences have been expressed in the increasing frequency and intensity of maritime incidents, involving both naval and civilian vessels, sometimes working in coordination against naval or civilian targets. Each chapter on the littoral states closely examines that state's territorial claims to the islands and waters of the SCS, its primary economic and military interests in these areas, its views on the sovereignty disputes over the entire SCS, its strategy to achieve its objectives, and its views on the U.S. involvement in any and all of these issues.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781898823674
Publisher: Renaissance Books
Publication date: 11/23/2017
Series: Renaissance Books Asia Pacific Series , #3
Pages: 352
Product dimensions: 5.75(w) x 8.82(h) x (d)

About the Author

Bruce A. Elleman is William V. Pratt Professor of International History in the Center for Naval Warfare Studies, U.S. Naval War College

Table of Contents

Preface ix

Acknowledgements x

List of Maps and Graph xiii

List of Acronyms xv

Introduction: Evaluating China's Maritime Strategy in the South China Sea xvii

1 The Early History of the South China Sea Disputes 1

2 China's Maritime Territorial Disputes with Vietnam 31

3 China's Spratly-KIG Maritime Dispute with the Philippines 54

4 China's Continental Shelf Dispute with Malaysia 75

5 China's Energy Resources Dispute with Brunei 85

6 China's Natuna Island Fishing Dispute with Indonesia 93

7 China's Sovereignty Disputes with Taiwan 105

8 The United States as the South China Sea Maritime Arbiter 127

Conclusions: China's Contemporary and Future Maritime Strategy in the SCS 161

Appendix A Timeline 195

Supporting Documents: 209

Document 1 Sino-French Tonkin Treaty, 26 June 1887 209

Document 2 Cairo Declaration, 1 December 1943 213

Document 3 Potsdam Proclamation, 26 July 1945 214

Document 4 Treaty of Peace with Japan, 8 September 1951 216

Document 5 Treaty of Peace between the Republic of China and Japan, 28 April 1952 218

Document 6 U.S.-ROC Mutual Defense Treaty, 2 December 1954 (ratified 1955) 222

Document 7 Formosa Resolution, 1955 225

Document 8 Declaration on China's Territorial Sea, 4 September 1958 227

Document 9 Prime Minister Pham Van Dong's Letter, 14 September 1958 229

Document 10 Shanghai Communiqué, 28 February 1972 230

Document 11 Joint Communiqué on the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations between the People's Republic of China and the United States of America, 16 December 1978 235

Document 12 Taiwan Relations Act, 10 April 1979 236

Document 13 Joint Communiqué on the Question of Arms Sales to Taiwan, 17 August 1982 248

Document 14 Law on the Territorial Sea and the Contiguous Zone, 25 February 1992 250

Document 15 1992 ASEAN Declaration on the South China Sea, 22 July 1992 255

Document 16 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, PART V, Exclusive Economic Zone, in force since 14 November 1994 257

Document 17 A concurrent resolution expressing the sense of Congress regarding missile tests and military exercises by the People's Republic of China, 21 March 1996 271

Document 18 Law on the Exclusive Economic Zone and the Continental Shelf of the PRC, 26 June 1998 274

Document 19 2002 Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea, 4 November 2002 278

Document 20 Anti-Secession Law adopted by NPC, 14 March 2005 281

Document 21 Cross-Straits Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement, 29 June 2010 284

Document 22 In the Matter of the South China Sea Arbitration, 12 July 2016 292

Selected Bibliography 301

Index 312

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