mandag 25. mars 2024

The Political Geography of the South China Sea Disputes

The South China Sea, one of the world’s most important and contentious bodies of water, constitutes a complex geopolitical space. It is frequently subject to misunderstandings and, in some cases, propaganda. The purpose of this Perspective is to provide essential background and context to the South China Sea dispute (which is, in reality, a series of disputes) from a political geography standpoint - that is, from the perspective of states that border a water feature, and their respective territorial claims over South China Sea spaces. Specifically, this primer will focus on the South China Sea’s physical geography and the origins and development of littoral states’ respective claims to portions of the South China Sea, including islands, rocks, and low-tide elevations.