China-Vietnam Drilling Rig Incident: Reflections and Implications

Issue & Policy Briefs August 19, 2014, No. 158

After a period of stability between China and Vietnam in the South China Sea with positive developments in terms of dispute management, China’s dispatch of a drilling rig to areas west of the Paracel archipelago in early May 2014 led to deep tensions up to mid-July when China withdrew the rig. This brief provides an analysis of the incident and resulting tensions as well as the implications for the Sino-Vietnamese approach to dispute management in the South China Sea.