Grappling with the South China Sea Policy Challenge

The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) hosted its fifth annual South China Sea conference on July 21, 2015. The event garnered more interest and a considerably larger audience—both in CSIS’s at-capacity conference room and online—than its four predecessors. Interest in the conference reflected the wider discussion on the South China Sea among policy communities in Washington and around the Asia Pacific—discussions that have risen to the top of the strategic agenda in many capitals. This report seeks to grapple with the dual policy challenges—one immediate and one long-term—of the South China Sea disputes, and offers recommendations to U.S. policymakers.

Gregory B. Poling
Senior Fellow and Director, Southeast Asia Program and Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative