MONDAY, 02/15/2021 | 8:00PM EST

Foreign Affairs


Future Leaders

Building a System of Administrative Control: Sansha City in China's South China Sea Strategy



Monday, February 15th, 2021 at 8:00pm EST

Hosted on Zoom - the link and optional background materials will be emailed to you after registration


China established Sansha City in 2012 to administer the bulk of its territorial and maritime claims in the South China Sea. Sansha is headquartered on Woody Island. The city’s jurisdiction includes the Paracel Islands, Zhongsha Islands, and Spratly Islands and most of the waters within China’s “ninedash line.” Sansha is responsible for exercising administrative control, implementing military-civil fusion, and carrying out the day-to-day work of rights defense, stability maintenance, environmental protection, and resource development. Since 2012, each level of the Chinese party-state system has worked to develop Sansha, improving the city’s physical infrastructure and transportation, communications, corporate ecosystem, party-state institutions, and rights defense system. In effect, the city’s development has produced a system of normalized administrative control. This system ultimately allows China to govern contested areas of the South China Sea as if they were Chinese territory. In this event, we will talk to Zach Haver, Party Watch Initiative Fellow at the Center for Advanced China Research and a South China Sea reporter at Radio Free Asia, about China's strategy and tactics in the South China Sea from a fresh angle.

Foreign Affairs with Future Leaders is a series of youth-led discussions which analyze various international issues and topics by collaboratively addressing their most critical questions. They are co-hosted by the Onero Institute and the Delta Phi Epsilon Professional Foreign Service Fraternity and Sorority at GWU. This event is also sponsored by Women In International Security at GWU. 


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Zachary Haver is a Party Watch Initiative Fellow at the Center for Advanced China Research and a South China Sea reporter at Radio Free Asia. His research focuses on the South China Sea disputes and Chinese economic statecraft. He has worked on Chinese security and economic issues at SOS International LLC, the Center for Advanced Defense Studies (C4ADS), the U.S. Naval War College China Maritime Studies Institute, and the Columbia-Harvard China and the World Program. Zachary received his BA in International Affairs from George Washington University. He lived in China for three years, studied Chinese in both Taiwan and China, and is proficient in Mandarin Chinese.


Max Kaplan is a Senior at the Elliott School of International Affairs with a Major in IA concentrating in Asia and International Economics and a Minor in Chinese Language and Literature. His academic and professional interests are the US-China relationship and the intersection of domestic and international politics. He has been the President of Delta Phi Epsilon Professional Foreign Service Fraternity’s Eta Chapter at GWU since Summer 2020.

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