Sunday, September 11, 2016

Maps of the Week - China

This Maps of the Week round-up has a distinct Chinese flavor. China's diplomatic and territorial pursuits in the South China Sea and in the Pacific have been explored this week in two well designed interactive maps.

China has provided over $1.9 billion in aid to Pacific Island countries in the last ten years. You can view how much Pacific Island countries have received in aid from China on this new interactive map from the Lowy Institute. Chinese Aid in the Pacific provides information on Chinese aid projects in the Pacific islands region since 2006.

The map uses scaled markers to indicate the amount of Chinese aid received by each Pacific Island country. The map sidebar also allows you to filter the amount of aid provided by type of aid and by the sector funded. If you zoom in on the map you can view details on the individual projects which have been funded by the Chinese, including details on the amount of aid provided and a description of each funded project.

The conflicting territorial and maritime claims of China, Taiwan, Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam in the South China Sea continue to affect diplomatic relations in the region. The potential for oil and gas exploitation, conflicting fishing rights and the control of major shipping lanes means that there are major disputes over both maritime boundaries and the ownership of islands in the South China Sea.

The Center for Strategic & International Studies has mapped how governments in the South China Sea are using shipping vessels, traditionally used for maritime law enforcement, to reinforce their territorial claims in the Sea. In Are Maritime Law Enforcement Forces Destabilizing Asia? the center has mapped a number of incidents in which countries have used coast guard and other maritime law enforcement agencies to try to assert their sovereignty in the Sea.

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