Download the Discussion SlideDoc in PDF

Executive Summary

This document assesses the recent escalation of coercive activities by the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in the South China Sea (SCS) amidst the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

There are six explanations for PRC’s recent escalation of coercive behaviour

  1. Opportunistic escalation amid pandemic distraction
  2. Coercing regional powers to accept fait accompli
  3. Deterring other actors by shows of strength
  4. Aiding domestic propaganda
  5. Offensive Defence
  6. Country/Context-specific issues

We assess that the probability for escalation of the crisis is the highest if there are collisions and accidents, declaration of an air defence identification zone (ADIZ) by the PRC or an attempt to forcefully change the status quo of the region.

China-Maritime-Coercion-June-02-2020-TSD-V 1.0

Download the Discussion SlideDoc in PDF