CNA Maritime Asia Project. Workshop One: The Yellow and East China Seas
CENTER FOR NAVAL ANALYSES ALEXANDRIA VA
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Because security concerns in East Asia have increasingly revolved around problems in the maritime domain, the Center for Naval Analyses has elected to make maritime security in East Asia the focal point for a series of workshops that will explore these issues in depth. In recent months, the South China Sea has been the most discussed East Asian maritime security issue. Still, a credible case can be made that the co-terminus Yellow and East China seas have all the ingredients necessary to become another maritime center of competition in East Asia. In fact, this maritime basin, because of the cross-strait issue, did fulfill that role during much of the post-Cold War era. Beijing, Tokyo, and Seoul all have important disputes over sovereignty and exclusive economic zones EEZs in these waters. Disputes over seabed resources and fishing occur frequently. The East China SeaYellow Sea basin is essentially home waters for the navies of China, Japan, and both Koreas. As a result, it is a local training area for four or, if one includes Taiwan, five littoral navies. These are waters where all routinely operate, and, in the case of the two Koreas, periodically engage in combat. Over the last 13 years, six combat clashes have occurred in the Yellow Sea or West Sea, as the Koreans would have it over the disputed maritime boundary between the two Korean states.