Will the Chinese military or other maritime security forces fire upon another country's civil or military vessel in the South China Sea between January 1 and June 30, 2021, inclusive?

Started Oct 09, 2020 12:00PM UTC
Closed Jan 01, 2021 04:59AM UTC

Related question. This question was previously issued for Summer 2020. You can view those forecasts here

Context. The South China Sea is host to vast natural gas resources as well as a number of competing territorial claims. China has built military bases on several coral atolls and reefs in the South China Sea, and rejected an international tribunal's ruling that it has no historic rights claim to resources in certain sea areas. These bases now include sophisticated facilities meant to enable military operations in this strategic area. The U.S. conducts Freedom of Navigation Operations (FONOPs) to demonstrate China’s lack of claim to the area, which have sometimes led to tense encounters between the U.S. and Chinese navies. China’s Maritime Militia and Coast Guard have also clashed with foreign fishing vessels in the area.

Data and resolution details. This question resolves based on popular media sources. "Fires upon" assumes the discharge of a weapon with lethal intent and does not include methods such as water cannons, rubber bullets, or ramming.


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Question clarification
Issued on 10/21/20 12:38pm
The "or other maritime security forces" clause refers only to Chinese maritime security forces.
Issued on 11/20/20 10:23pm
A user asked if the Taiwan Strait counts as part of the South China Sea. This turned out to be a surprisingly interesting question. My ruling is no. If you think this is the wrong call, let me know, and I might revise my ruling for the next version of this question. Background: The most-authoritative source on this question appears to be the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO), an international standards body. The IHO periodically issues a publication called "Limits of Oceans and Seas," which speaks to this question. The 3rd edition, published in 1953, is the last edition to be formally published by the IHO. That edition does not define the Taiwan Strait, but it does place its waters within the South China Sea. A 4th edition was finished in 1986, and revised in 2002, but never formally published by the IHO. The 4th edition does define the Taiwan Strait and places it in the North Pacific Ocean, not the South China Sea. Because as far as I can tell, the reasons the 4th edition has not been published are not related to disagreement about this particular question, I'm going to go ahead and treat it as authoritative on this particular question.
Issued on 11/20/20 10:24pm
For purposes of this question, Taiwan and the People's Republic of China are different countries.
Possible Answer Correct? Final Crowd Forecast
Yes 10.51%
No 89.49%

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Average for questions older than 6 months: 58
Number of Forecasts 157
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