China’s Ballistic Missile Tests in the South China Sea Stoke Sino-US Tensions


Ian Storey


ISEAS Yushof Ishak Institute


July 8, 2019 


Reports that China conducted one or more ballistic missile tests in the South China Sea in early July highlights the growing strategic rivalry between Washington and Beijing in maritime Southeast Asia. The tests run counter to China’s narrative that the situation in the South China Sea is stable and calm. Prior to the five-day test period, China declared two areas of the South China Sea—one north of the Paracel Islands and one north of the Spratly Islands—off-limits to ships and aircraft.