Defusing the South China Sea Disputes

A REGIONAL BLUEPRINT

The CSIS Expert Working Group on the South China Sea brings together prominent experts on maritime law, international relations, and the marine environment from China, Southeast Asia, and beyond. The members seek consensus on realistic, actionable steps that claimants and interested parties could take to boost cooperation and manage tensions at sea. The group meets regularly to discuss issues that it considers necessary for the successful management of the South China Sea disputes and produces blueprints for a path forward on each.

The working group includes a diverse set of experts from claimant states and interested countries, including the United States. It is chaired by Gregory Poling, director of the Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). Members of the group gathered three times between July 2017 and July 2018 to produce the blueprints gathered in this report. The members believe these three proposed agreements add up to a robust model for managing the South China Sea disputes, one which would be both legally and politically feasible for all parties.

Gregory B. Poling is director of the Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative and a fellow with the Southeast Asia Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). Michael Jonathan Green is senior vice president for Asia and Japan Chair at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). Bonnie S. Glaser is a senior adviser for Asia and the director of the China Power Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). Christopher Johnson is a senior adviser and holds the Freeman Chair in China Studies at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). Dr. Amy Searight serves as senior adviser and director of the Southeast Asia Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). Murray Hiebert is a senior associate of the Southeast Asia Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). Matthew P. Funaiole is a fellow with the China Power Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). Brian Harding serves as deputy director and fellow of the Southeast Asia Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).

This report was made possible by general funding to the CSIS Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative.

 


 

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Gregory B. Poling
Senior Fellow and Director, Southeast Asia Program and Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative
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Murray Hiebert
Senior Associate (Non-resident), Southeast Asia Program
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Matthew P. Funaiole
Vice President, iDeas Lab, Andreas C. Dracopoulos Chair in Innovation and Senior Fellow, China Power Project

Bonnie S. Glaser

Amy Searight