China's Actions in South and East China Seas: Implications for U.S. Interests--Background and Issues for Congress [Updated January 31, 2019] [open pdf - 2MB]
"This report provides background information and issues for Congress regarding China's actions in the South China Sea (SCS) and East China Sea (ECS), with a focus on implications for U.S. strategic and policy interests. [...] The issue for Congress is how the United States should respond to China's actions in the SCS and ECS--particularly China's island-building and base-construction activities in the Spratly Islands in the SCS--and to China's strengthening position in the SCS. A key oversight question for Congress is whether the Trump Administration has an appropriate strategy--and an appropriate amount of resources for implementing that strategy--for countering China's 'salami-slicing' strategy or gray zone operations for gradually strengthening its position in the SCS, for imposing costs on China for its actions in the SCS and ECS, and for defending and promoting U.S. interests in the region. Decisions that Congress makes on these issues could substantially affect U.S. strategic, political, and economic interests in the Indo-Pacific region and elsewhere."
CRS Report for Congress, R42784
Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov/