Bill Hayton is Associate Fellow in the Asia-Pacific Programme at Chatham House, United Kingdom.

He is also the author of ’The South China Sea: The Struggle for Power in Asia’ (Yale, 2014) and the editor of the academic journal ‘Asian Affairs’. He was the BBC’s reporter in Vietnam from 2006-7 and is the author of ‘Vietnam: rising dragon’ (Yale 2010, second edition 2020), ‘A Brief History of Vietnam’ (Tuttle, 2022) and ’The Invention of China’ (Yale, 2020). In 2019, he received his PhD from the University of Cambridge for work on the history and development of the South China Sea disputes.

Articles by Bill Hayton (2)

This photo taken on August 22, 2023 shows a Chinese coast guard ship (L) shadowing Philippine coast guard ship BRP Cabra closely during the re-supply mission by a civilian boat chartered by the Philippine navy to deliver supplies to Philippine navy ship BRP Sierra Madre in the disputed South China Sea.

China’s Claim on the South China Sea: How Many Dashes Make a Line?

Bill Hayton

China’s new map depicting its claims to the South China Sea has provoked some fierce reactions from its neighbours. The fact is that the “new” map is anything but.

How to Solve the South China Sea Disputes

Bill Hayton

This Long Read argues that Southeast Asian states have an interest in recognising each other’s de facto occupation of specific features and then presenting a united position to China. The historical evidence of physical acts of administration suggests that, with some important exceptions, the current occupiers of each feature have the best claim to sovereignty over it.