The South China Sea is located in the world’s most important shipping lane. Nearly 40% of the global trade of goods is shipped through the lane, which makes the waters crucial for global economic prosperity. The surrounding areas of the South China Sea boast the largest population density in the world. The stability and prosperity of the waters impact the fate and well-being of nearly two billion people. From 2009 to 2016, tensions over the waters escalated coupled with major incidents and crises breaking out all the time, which attracted extensive attention to the area.


Currently, all of the parties involved in the South China Sea disputes have now come to understand the significance of “shelving differences” and communication through dialogue. Under the “dual-track approach”, tensions over the waters are easing progressively. However, the root cause of the South China Sea disputes has not been entirely settled: claimants still hold different opinions about the sovereignty over islands and the delimitation of waters, and the contention over the exploitation of space and resources is becoming increasingly fierce; the competition between Chinese and US maritime strategies has come to the fore, and the South China Sea has become a major field of such contentions. Countries outside the region, such as Japan, Australia and the UK, are paying more attention to the waters with a stronger presence, which further complicates the situation. Now the future of the South China Sea holds more strategic relevance in today’s world, because it not only concerns the safety and prosperity of Southeast Asia and the future of China-US relations, but could influence the strategic bearing of the entire Asia-Pacific region as well.


To continue the push for a more desirable situation in the South China Sea, we should first gather all the trends and news about the waters from an objective perspective and accurately observe the area within the parameters of its military, political, economic and environmental contexts.


With a view to maintaining and promoting the peace, stability and prosperity of the South China Sea, Peking University Institute of Ocean Research has launched the South China Sea Strategic Situation Probing Initiative (SCSPI). The Initiative aims to integrate intellectual resources and open source information worldwide and keep track of important actions and major policy changes of key stakeholders and other parties involved. It provides professional data services and analysis reports to parties concerned, helping them keep competition under control, and with a view to seek partnerships.


The SCSPI is mainly funded by social donation and non-profit investment, the majority of which will be sourced from Peking University Education Foundation at the outset. We would appreciate only non-politically affiliated donations. The SCSPI sincerely invites experts and scholars, research institutes and other organizations from across the world to join us. We would also appreciate individuals, companies, institutions and international organizations willingness to share data and information with us, in accordance with the relevant laws of corresponding countries and international law.



Join Us

If you are an expert in the South China Sea issues, you are welcome to join our expert team or advisory committee;

If you have any insight or inspiring research on a specific topic, you are welcome to contribute;

If you have produced any constructive research results, you are welcome to promote your valuable work in collaboration with the SCSPI;

If you and your institution are adept at data mining and analysis, you are welcome to join us as a partner;

If you would like to fund the SCSPI, we will ensure that your contribution is entrusted to the foundation for the benefit of SCSPI’s development.



SCSPI Leadership

Hu Bo


Director of the Center for Maritime Strategy Research and Research Professor at the Institute of Ocean Research, Peking University. He received his PhD in Politics from the School of International Studies at Peking University and has extensive experience in policy analysis and consulting. His areas of specialization include maritime strategy, international security, and Chinese diplomacy. He has written three books and more than 40 journal articles and book chapters on topics related to China’s maritime strategy and policy. His most recent books published in Chinese are as follows: China’s Maritime Power in 2049 (Beijing, China Development Press, 2015),which will be published in English by Routledge press in 2019; and China’s Sea Power in the Post Mahan Era (Beijing, Ocean Press, 2018).



Advisory Board

Major General Yao Yunzhu, Senior Advisor, the China Association of Military Science
Wu Shicun, President, National Institute for South China Sea Studies
Rear Admiral Zhao Dengping, Senior Advisor, China International Institute for Strategic Society
Zhu Feng, Director, Collaborative Innovation Center of South China Sea Studies, Nanjing University
Li Ming, Professor, Law School, Peking University
Wang Lei, Vice Dean, Institute of Ocean Research, Peking University
Wang Jimin, Professor, Department of Information Management, Peking University
Zha Daojiong, Professor, School of International Studies, Peking University
Li Hongyun, Associate Professor, Law School, Peking University


Research Team

Cao Qun, China Institute of International Studies
Chen Yong, Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences
Cui Yiliang, Modern Ships Magazine

Dan Steinbock, Difference Group
Dong Ting, School of International Studies, Peking University
Ge Hongliang, GuangXi University for Nationalities
Huang Ying, School of International Relations, Tianjin Foreign Studies University

James Bosbotinis, JB Associates
Ji Chaohui, PLA Navy
Lei Xiaolu, China Institute of Boundary and Ocean Studies, Wuhan University
Li Chen, School of International Studies, Renmin University
Li Yan, China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations
Li Yang, School of Law, Sun Yat-sen University
Liu Dan, Shanghai Jiao Tong University
Liu Lin, Academy of Military Sciences PLA China
Lin Xieli, Energy Studies Institute, National University of Singapore
Ma Bo, Collaborative Innovation Center of South China Sea Studies, Nanjing University
Qi Haotian, School of International Studies, Peking University
Shao Jingjing, International College of Defense Studies, National Defense University PLA
Tang Pei, Institute of Navy Studies, PLA Navy
Weng Danfeng, Third Institute of Oceanography, Ministry of Natural Resources
Yan Yan, National Institute for South China Sea Studies
Yang Jingyun, PLA Navy
Zhao Weihua, Guangdong University of Foreign Studies
Zhou Bo, Air Force of the CPLA
Zhang Jie, National Institute of International Strategy, Chinese Academy of Social Science
Zhang Liangfu, China National Offshore Oil Corporation
Zhang Hongzhou, Nanyang Technological University
Zhang Feng, The Australian National University

Promoting Transparency, Peace and Cooperation In SCS