Troubled waters in the South China Sea as China’s bid for control raises tensions

Filipinos protest over territorial disputes in the South China Sea in front of the Chinese consular office in the Philippines, 24 July 2015 (photo: dpa)
Filipinos protest over territorial disputes in the South China Sea in front of the Chinese consular office in the Philippines, 24 July 2015 (photo: dpa)

China is fast developing its defence capabilities. At the third plenary session of the Communist Party’s 18th Congress in November 2013, Party Leader Xi Jinping announced the most ambitious reforms of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) in more than three decades. Much of this military investment is being directed towards gaining control of the South China Sea, writes GIS guest expert Dr Nicola Casarini.

In May 2015, the government released its first ever White Paper on military strategy. The document shows innovative thinking on China’s security in three key areas: a new understanding of the political framework for using force, enhanced security partnerships, and a global power projec...

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