One-third of global maritime traffic. An estimated $5 trillion in annual trade. Six claimant nations. One body of water. And that’s just the on the surface of the South China Sea.

The contested water also features 3.5 million square kilometers of underlying bedrock with oil and natural gas deposits that might be second only to Saudi Arabia’s. And it’s home to lucrative fisheries and supply routes that carry 80 percent of China’s crude imports.

The territorially disputed region may be the most strategically important waterway of the 21st century.

This project features original analysis, reporting, maps and timelines detailing the rival claims to the South China Sea.

Brian Williamson | VOA News


I designed, coded and helped coordinate this introduction to VOA’s ongoing South China Sea coverage. I created maps and timelines, assembled time lapse photos and produced short videos for social media. I also help coordinate the translation of the project into six additional languages, including Chinese, Indonesian, Khmer, Lao and Vietnamese.