lørdag 5. mars 2022

New report reveals extent of Chinese surveys in South China Sea

The paths of Chinese survey vessels across the South China Sea for the past two years show a tangle of activity straddling disputed waters off the coasts of all its maritime neighbors in Southeast Asia. A report published Tuesday by the Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative uses automatic identification system (AIS) data transmitted by Chinese vessels to reconstruct where they have been conducting surveys.

These surveys - for marine scientific research, oil and gas exploration, and military research, according to the report – stretch across the South China Sea, which China claims virtually in its entirety. The surveys have regularly dipped into the exclusive economic zones (EEZs) of neighboring countries, like Vietnam, the Philippines and Malaysia.The report, “Chinese Surveys in the South China Sea,” is aimed at providing “a better understanding of the scope of Chinese survey activities in the South China Sea” which have become an important tool for China to assert its maritime claims.

AMTI is part of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank.