American interests are increasingly at risk in the South China Sea due to the economic and military rise of China and concerns about its willingness to uphold existing legal norms. The United States and countries throughout the region have a deep and abiding interest in sea lines of communication that remain open to all, both for commerce and for peaceful military activity. China, however, continues to challenge that openness, both by questioning historical maritime norms and by developing military capabilities that allow it to threaten access to this maritime region.
Cooperation from Strength: The United States, China and the South China Sea, a six-chapter volume featuring a capstone chapter authored by Patrick M. Cronin, CNAS Senior Advisor and Senior Director of the Asia-Pacific Security Program, and Robert D. Kaplan, CNAS Senior Fellow, helps U.S. policymakers understand the trends affecting American interests in the South China Sea. It includes insightful chapters on U.S. strategy in the South China Sea, maritime security, diplomacy and the rule of law, natural resources and partnership building by some of the world’s leading experts on the Asia-Pacific region.
Please note that chapters are bookmarked within the Table of Contents.
Chapter I: Cooperation from Strength: U.S. Strategy and the South China Sea
By Patrick M. Cronin and Robert D. Kaplan
Chapter II: Maritime Security in the South China Sea and the Competition over Maritime Rights
By M. Taylor Fravel
Chapter III: China’s Bilateral and Multilateral Diplomacy in the South China Sea
By Ian Storey
Chapter IV: Cracks in the Global Foundation: International Law and Instability in the South China Sea
By Peter A. Dutton
Chapter V: The Role of Natural Resources in the South China Sea
By Will Rogers
Chapter VI: Rough Waters for Coalition Building
By James R. Holmes
*Please note, an earlier version of this report contained an error on Pages 5 and 7. It has been corrected to read: "The South China Sea functions as the throat of the Western Pacific and Indian Oceans - a mass of connective economic tissue where global sea routes coalesce, accounting for $1.2 trillion in U.S. trade annually."
More from CNAS
CommentaryHow China and the U.S. Are Competing for Young Minds in Southeast Asia
Business leaders at the World Economic Forum in Davos last month warned that China has overtaken the United States in the development of artificial intelligence and other emer...
By Kristine Lee
China's Artificial Islands Are Bigger (And a Bigger Deal) Than You Think
Surely you have heard the news — China has been dredging up coral reefs and creating artificial islands in the South China Sea with the purpose of enforcing their claims...
By CDR Thomas Shugart, USN
Beijing's Go Big or Go Home Moment in the South China Sea
China is preparing for its go or go home moment in the South China Sea and it appears they have chosen the right time to make a play for regional and, ultimately, global domin...
By Jerry Hendrix
Parting the South China Sea
July 12, 2016, marked a turning point in the long-standing disputes over the South China Sea. After more than three years of proceedings at the Permanent Court of Arbitration,...
By Mira Rapp-Hooper