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, we launched the South China Sea Strategic Situation Probing Initiative (SCSPI) in April of 2019. 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 an international research network and not affiliated with any institution, mainly funded by social donation and non-profit investment. 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.


Advisory Board

Yao Yunzhu, Major General (Retired), Senior Advisor, the China Association of Military Science

Wu Shicun, Founding President, National Institute for South China Sea Studies

Zhao Dengping, Rear Admiral (Retired),Senior Advisor, China International Institute for Strategic Society

Zhu Feng, Executive Director, Collaborative Innovation Center of South China Sea Studies, Nanjing University

Li Ming, Professor, Law School, Peking University

Wang Jimin, Professor, Department of Information Management, Peking University


SCSPI Leadership

Director: Hu Bo

Hu Bo, research professor & director of the Center for Maritime Strategy Studies, Peking University, and director of SCSPI. 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 are as follows: China’s Maritime Power in 2049 (China Development Press, 2015), China’s Sea Power in the Post Mahan Era (Ocean Press, 2018), and Chinese Maritime Power in the 21st Century (Routledge, 2019).


Vice Director: Yan Yan

Yan Yan, director of the Research Center of Oceans Law and Policy in the National Institute for the South China Sea Studies (NISCSS) and vice director of SCSPI. She receives her PHD in the University of Hong Kong on public international law and her M.S. degree from London School of Economic and Political Science (LSE). Her research interests covers areas of the law of the sea, maritime security in the Asia-Pacific, China’s maritime law and policy and the South China Sea. Her recent publication includes Code of Conduct: Negotiation History and the Way Forward, Maritime Confidence-building Measures: Assessing China-US MOU on Notification of Major Military Activities and Rules of Behavior, Philippines vs. China Arbitration: China’s Diplomatic Policy Options and Future Prospects, The US Underwater Drone is not Entitled to Sovereign Immunity, Marine Date Collection: Difference Interpretation between China and the United States, State Practice of Joint Development in Waters of Overlapping Claims, etc.


Vice Director: Lei Xiaolu

Lei Xiaolu, professor of China Institute of Boundary and Ocean Studies (CIBOS), Wuhan University, and vice director of SCSPI. She obtained her LLM degree in 2009 and PhD Degree in 2012 from Wuhan University specialized in international law. In 2017, she was a visiting scholar at S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technology University of Singapore. Her research interest covers the area of pacific dispute settlement mechanisms, especially the peaceful settlement of the South China Sea disputes, China’s maritime law and policy, and the legal issues in the law of the sea and general international law.


Research Team

Anna Rosario Malindog-Uy, Asian Century Philippines Strategic Studies Institute, Director and Vice President

Cao Qun, China Institute of International Studies, Associate Research Fellow

Chen Yong, Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, Assistant Research Fellow

Christoper Len, Energy Studies Institute, National University of Singapore, Senior Research Fellow

Collin Koh Swee Lean, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang Technological University, Research Fellow

Cui Yiliang, Modern Ships Magazine, Editor-in-Chief

Dan Steinbock, Difference Group, President

Dong Ting, Center for International Security and Strategy, Tsinghua University (CISS), Assistant Researcher

Ge Hongliang, ASEAN College,GuangXi University for Nationalities,Vice Dean

Huang Ying, School of International Relations, Tianjin Foreign Studies University, Lecturer

James Bosbotinis, JB Associates, Independent Specialist in Defence and International Affairs

Ji Chaohui, Retired Lieutenant Colonel of PLAN

Li Chen, School of International Studies, Renmin University, Associate Professor

Li Yan, China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, Director

Li Yang, School of Law, Sun Yat-sen University

Liu Dan, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Associate Professor

Liu Lin,  Party School of the CPC Central Committee, Professor 

Ma Bo, Collaborative Innovation Center of South China Sea Studies, Nanjing University, Researcher

Mark Hoskin, China Foreign Affairs University, Lecturer

Ngeow Chow Bing, Institute of China Studies, University of Malaya, Director, Professor

Qi Haotian, School of International Studies, Peking University, Assistant Professor

Shao Jingjing, International College of Defense Studies, National Defense University, PLA, Associate Professor

Tang Pei, Institute of Navy Studies, PLA Navy, Associate Research Fellow

Weng Danfeng, Third Institute of Oceanography, Ministry of Natural Resources, Assistant Research Rellow

Yang Jingyun, Retired Senior Colonel of PLAN

Zhao Weihua, Institute of International Studies, Fudan University, Professor

Zhou Bo, Retired Senior Colonel of PLAA, Center for International Security and Strategy (CISS), Tsinghua University, Senior Fellow

Zhang Jie, National Institute of International Strategy, Chinese Academy of Social Science, Research Rellow

Zhang Liangfu, Hainan University, Professor

Zhang Hongzhou, Nanyang Technological University, Research Fellow

Zhang Feng, Institute of Public Policy, South China University of Technology, Executive Dean

Zheng Zhihua, Japan Research Center of Shanghai Jiaotong University, Associate Professor