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Okinawa discusses China's "Territorial and Spatial Program" and its New Maritime Infrastructure

By Gabriela Wurst for YCAPS

On November 15th 2023, YCAPS and the Sasakawa Peace Foundation featured Dr. Chisako T. Masuo of Kyushu University in Okinawa, where she presented on “China’s Territorial and Spatial Program and it’s new Maritime Infrastructure connected with Space, Sky and Land”.

Dr. Masuo’s seminar covered the Chinese Beidou system used to monitor vessels in the South and East China seas and the evolution of this technological system. Importantly, she discussed its links with Chinese fishing vessels. She also covered China’s island governance system, its Island Protection program and its relation with China's territorial claims in the South China Sea. Among other topics, the significance of China’s Territorial and Spatial program —which China began to implement in 2021 and integrates all of China's geographical programs, including Island Protection programs— was discussed.

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Audience members had several questions. Among these were: Where are these systems being used? In territorial or international waters? And, has there been pushback from other South China Sea territorial claimaints?

This event took place in the Vessel Hotel Campana Okinawa, in the American Village of Mihama. Among those in the audience were U.S. service members, researchers, and other who work on and off the bases in the surrounding communities.

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Dr. Masuo’s research focuses on Chinese foreign and maritime policies, among other topics. She is a Professor at the Faculty of Social and Cultural Studies, Kyushu University and an Adjunct Fellow at the Japan Institute of International Affairs (JIIA).

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Some of Dr. Masuo's recent publiclations include:

Masuo, C. T. (2021). China’s “National Spatial Infrastructure” and global governance: Chinese way of Military–Civil Fusion (MCF) over the ocean. Maritime Affairs: Journal of the National Maritime Foundation of India, 17(2), 27-42.

Masuo, C. T. (2023). Fighting Against Internal and External Threats Simultaneously: China’s Police and Satellite Cooperation with Autocratic Countries.