South China Sea Data 2012-2020

This dataset contains geo-located events related to ongoing territorial disputes in the South China Sea, also known as the Biển Đông (East Sea), West Philippine Sea, or (in part) North Natuna Sea.

In this version, reports from 2012 to 2020 are included (9 years).

The data are structured in two levels:

  • Events: An event is a discrete occurrence in the basin at a specific location, that fits the criteria for inclusion. These are rows within the geo-located “event” dataset.
  • Reports: A report is an individual news item that provides information about the activities that occurred and the location of an event. Most events have more than one report, although some events only have a single report in the dataset. These are rows within the “report” dataset.

Because these events are drawn from publicly available news sources, they are by no means a comprehensive accounting of all the clashes that have taken place in the westernmost Pacific Ocean during the decade in question. Indeed, in speaking with journalists in several of the littoral countries, a considerable number of incidents are not reported on, either due to political pressure, lack of capacity or insufficient verifiable details regarding what took place.

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