“China’s Gray Zone Operations in the Yellow Sea,” is the title of a paper by Chungjin Jung, for Security Nexus. This paper illustrates the increasing effects the People’s Republic of China’s (PRC) Gray Zone Activities are having on Japan and Southeast Asian countries, and the need for long-term strategies for an appropriate response.

China has carried out gray zone operations in the East and the South China Sea against Japan and Southeast Asian countries and is trying to change the status quo little by little and make it a fait accompli to gain advantages in these sea areas. China’s gray zone operation is already underway in the Yellow Sea, as evidenced by its increasing maritime activities. An escalation of Chinese gray zone operations in the Yellow Sea would pose many challenges for Korea in terms of trying to keep the peace while engaging in satisfactory maritime boundary planning negotiations with China. Korea should establish long-term strategies and operational plans that integrate all national capabilities to respond to China’s gray zone operation appropriately. However, most importantly, the two countries must respect their mutual interests and try to ensure freedom of the seas as demanded by the international community.

Chungjin Jung is a lieutenant colonel in the Republic of Korea Air Force, and a visiting scholar at the Daniel K. Inouye Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies in Honolulu. The views expressed in this article are the author’s alone, and do not necessarily reflect the official position of the DKI APCSS or the United States Government.

Security Nexus is a peer-reviewed, online journal published by the Daniel K. Inouye Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies.