The South China Sea: Oil, Maritime Claims, and U.S.-China Strategic Rivalry

Leszek Buszynski
Content Type
Journal Article
The Washington Quarterly
Issue Number
Publication Date
Spring 2012
Center for Strategic and International Studies
The risk of conflict escalating from relatively minor events has increased in the South China Sea over the past two years with disputes now less open to negotiation or resolution. Originally, the disputes arose after World War II when the littoral states—China and three countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines, as well as Vietnam which joined later—scrambled to occupy the islands there. Had the issue remained strictly a territorial one, it could have been resolved through Chinese efforts to reach out to ASEAN and forge stronger ties with the region.
Political Geography
United States, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Island