REUTERS/Fabian Hamacher - A construction site of a pier, in Itu Aba, which the Taiwanese call Taiping, at the South China Sea, March 23, 2016

Paper | East Asia Policy Paper Series

Limits of law in the South China Sea

May 2016, Paul Gewirtz

The South China Sea is a huge sea of 1.4 million square miles, bordered by nations that contain approximately 2 billion people. About a third of the world’s shipping goes through its waters, which also provide vast amounts of food and whose seabed is rich in oil and gas. China, Taiwan, the Philippines, Vietnam, Brunei, and Malaysia all claim sovereignty over some of these waters, and the claims conflict.

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