Navigating the South China Sea

A Quick Guide to Territorial Disputes in the Region

Report by Bobb Drake.

The contentious nine-dash line map, which is unrecognized outside the People’s Republic of China (PRC), has been in the news recently with its appearance on an ESPN broadcast and in DreamWorks animated feature film Abominable.

The nine-dash line represents the PRC’s (and Taiwan’s) claims in the South China Sea. These claims have been around since at least 1947 when the map was first used, but with the PRC’s increased land reclamation, energy exploration activities and naval patrols in the South China Sea in recent years, the conflict status has been ranked as worsening and as having a critical impact on US interests by the Council on Foreign Relations’ Global Conflict Tracker.


Nine-dash line (red) and overlapping national territorial claims in the South China Sea.

This has been a preview. The full report can be accessed online by Nimdzi Partners.

The full publication contains information on why is the South China Sea such a sensitive issue and why companies should remain abreast of current geocultural and geopolitical issues. If you are not a Nimdzi Partner, contact us.


This report was researched and written by Nimdzi's Director of Geocultural Research, Bobb Drake. If you wish to learn more about the topic, reach out to Bobb at [email protected].

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