On Tuesday, March 2, the Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative (AMTI) published a report that shows the overlapping paths of Chinese survey vessels across the South China Sea for the past two years.
AMTI is a Center for Strategic and International Studies Project, a Washington, D.C.–based think tank.
The path also shows that Chinese survey vessels regularly enter the exclusive economic zones (EEZs) of Vietnam, the Philippines, and Malaysia.
AMTI’s report indicates that “Aside from their symbolic goals, these surveys also produce data on seabed conditions that hold value for both civilian and military purposes.”
RFA cited Greg Poling, the AMTI director, saying that “The report highlights the scale and hypocrisy of China’s survey activities.”
He added, “Beijing conducts dozens of operations in its neighbors’ EEZs every year which, if civilian in nature, are illegal or, if military, is exactly what China claims other countries are not allowed to do in its own EEZ.”
According to RFA, ISEAS—Yusof Ishak Institute in Singapore on Feb. 16 published a report entitled “The State of Southeast Asia 2022.” The report points out that 41.7% of respondents view China as a “revisionist power” that “intends to turn Southeast Asia into its sphere of influence.”
Regarding global peace, security, prosperity, and governance, 58.1% said they have little or no belief that China would do the right thing.
The ISEAS report said, “This follows China’s military build-ups in the South China Sea in recent years and the intrusions into Southeast Asian claimant states’ EEZ, with [China’s] ambitious goal of militarily dominating the South China Sea.”