Professor of International Relations, Fudan University
C.V. Starr Senior Fellow and Director for Asia Studies, CFR
Senior Fellow for Southeast Asia, CFR
Sheila A. Smith
Senior Fellow for Japan Studies, CFR
Chairman, Singapore Institute of International Affairs
Stirring Up The South China Sea: Regional Responses (July 2012)
This report from the International Crisis Group profiles regional positions in the South China Sea dispute, outlining each claimants’ relationship with China.
Cooperation from Strength: The United States, China and the South China Sea (January 2012)
Regional expert Patrick Cronin and other scholars discuss diplomacy, security, resources and Washington’s role in the South China Sea in this Center for a New American Security report.
Japan and the South China Sea: Forging Strategic Partnerships in a Divided Region (January 2013)
This Institut Français des Relations Internationales paper discusses Japan’s deepening engagement with Southeast Asia.
Making Process, Not Progress: ASEAN and the Evolving East Asian Regional Order (Summer 2007)
This article details ASEAN’s checkered history as a regional group.
The Challenge of Revisionism: The Expanding Role of China’s Non-Military Maritime Vessels (February 2013)
This report from the Center for a New American Security examines the role of China’s maritime agencies in destabilizing the region.
A Game of Shark and Minnow (October 2013)
This New York Times presentation profiles a Filipino ship in the Reed Bank and highlights the ongoing conflict in the South China Sea.
China’s Maritime Disputes in the East and South China Seas (April 2013)
This congressional testimony by Michael Swaine of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace addresses the origins and drivers of China’s maritime disputes and provides a timeline of major events.
Dangerous Waters: China-Japan Relations on the Rocks (April 2013)
The International Crisis Group’s report on the Diaoyu/Senkaku dispute delves into the history and perspectives of the conflict, and outlines the challenges of crisis mitigation.
Legitimacy and the Limits of Nationalism: China and the Diaoyu Islands (Winter 1998–1999)
This article discusses the role nationalism has played in China’s territorial dispute in the East China Sea.
The 1951 San Francisco Peace Treaty with Japan and the Territorial Disputes in East Asia (January 2002)
This paper article details some of the historical complexities of the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands disputes during the postwar period.
As China Meets the Southern Sea Frontier: Ocean Identity in the Making, 1902-1937 (Fall 2005)
This paper delves into China’s historical approach to the South China Sea region and its rise in strategic significance.
50 Years from San Francisco: Re-Examining the Peace Treaty and Japan’s Territorial Problems (Autumn 2001)
This paper discusses Japan’s territorial claims on the East China Sea through a historical lens.
The Paracels: the ‘Other’ South China Sea Dispute (July 2001)
This paper examines the Paracel dispute between China and Vietnam and its impact on Sino-Vietnamese relations.
By the Numbers
South China Sea (February 2013)
This U.S. Energy Administration report provides data on resources in the South China Sea.
Economic Outlook (June 2013)
This OECD database offers statistics for economic projections and outlooks.
Trends in World Military Expenditure, 2012 (April 2013)
Independent institute SIPRI maps trends in global military expenditures in this report.
This ASEAN resource provides a range of statistics for the region.
Armed Clash in the South China Sea (April 2012)
This CFR Contingency Planning Memorandum by regional expert Bonnie Glaser examines the risk of armed conflict in the South China Sea.
A Sino-Japanese Clash in the East China Sea (April 2013)
This CFR Contingency Planning Memorandum by Senior Fellow Sheila Smith discusses options to reduce tensions between China and Japan in the East China Sea.
Flashpoints: The Way Forward in the East and South China Seas (March 2013)
Center for New American Security expert Patrick Cronin discusses the deteriorating security environment in the East and South China Seas in this report.
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations. The ten-member regional group includes Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, SIngapore, Thailand, Brunei, Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam.
The Declaration on Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea. A code of conduct signed by China and the ten ASEAN states that seeks to create guidelines for resolution of territorial disputes.
Exclusive Economic Zone. A zone adjacent to the territorial sea, not extending beyond two hundred nautical miles from the nation’s baseline, where a state has rights to govern its resource and economic development.
Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force. Its naval fleets maintain control of the country’s sea lanes and patrol territorial waters, including those in the East China Sea.
The People’s Liberation Army of the People’s Republic of China. As the principal body of China’s armed forces, the PLA comprises the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Second Artillery Force.
United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. The resolution defines rights and responsibilities of nations in their use of surrounding waters based on exclusive economic zones.
These discussion questions, essay questions, activities and assignments, and supplementary resources are designed to help educators use the “China's Maritime Disputes” InfoGuide in the classroom through an active, learner-centered approach.
Ideas for questions to use in facilitating full-class discussions, assigning small group discussion topics, or posting on a class discussion board. Questions allow students to critically reflect on the material provided in the InfoGuide and hone their communication skills.
Suggestions for essay topics that enable students to dive deeper into the material found in the InfoGuide and conduct their own research and analysis.
Activities and Assignments
In-class activity ideas and homework assignments based on “China’s Maritime Disputes” that promote participatory learning and critical thinking. These can be adapted based on students’ levels and classroom needs. For high school teachers, these activities are accompanied by a list and description of the Common Core State Standards they meet.