The United States, China, and Freedom of Navigation in the South China Sea

13 Wash. U. Global Stud. L. Rev. 441 (2014)

Penn State Law Research Paper

12 Pages Posted: 29 Oct 2015

See all articles by James Houck

James Houck

Pennsylvania State University, Penn State Law

Nicole Anderson

Government of the United States of America - Marine Corps

Date Written: 2014

Abstract

The need for a uniform understanding of international norms regarding freedom of navigation is increasingly important as more States develop capacity to act in the international maritime realm. Nowhere is the issue of freedom of navigation more contentious, with more potential to spark wider conflict, than in the South China Sea (SCS). Both the United States and China profess an interest in the free navigation of commercial vessels in the region. Beyond commercial shipping, however, the two nations disagree on the important issue of freedom of navigation for military vessels. The United States believes all nations have wide latitude under international law to conduct military activities at sea. China argues that U.S. military activities in the SCS infringe on Chinese sovereignty. The resolution of this dispute, which has resulted in several confrontations at sea between the two nations, has implications for peace and security in the SCS and beyond.

Suggested Citation

Houck, James and Anderson, Nicole, The United States, China, and Freedom of Navigation in the South China Sea (2014). 13 Wash. U. Global Stud. L. Rev. 441 (2014); Penn State Law Research Paper . Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2681230

James Houck (Contact Author)

Pennsylvania State University, Penn State Law ( email )

Lewis Katz Building
University Park, PA 16802
United States

Nicole Anderson

Government of the United States of America - Marine Corps

United States

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