In the Report to the 18th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party in 2012, China first mentioned “building China into a strong maritime power”, and stressed it was a major strategic objective to enhance China’s capacity to exploit marine resources and develop the marine economy. Since then, China has used “gray zone” operations to make surrounding countries nervous and gradually strengthen its jurisdiction, such as the Scarborough Shoal standoff in 2012, the Hai Yang Shi You 981 standoff in 2014, and the Whitsun Reef incident in 2021. These incidents were all caused by China’s private marine economic activities. China then dispatched public vessels to enter the disputed area to create a standoff and expand the scope of administrative jurisdiction with a gradual approach. Furthermore, China adopted “Coast Guard against Japan” and “Militia against the Philippines and Vietnam” approaches to create the facts of disputes in the East China Sea and expand effective jurisdiction in the South China Sea. China adopts a strategy of “manipulating disputes, holding negotiations and working towards stability” to skillfully maintain the disputes on a non-military level to avoid the outbreak of military conflict with the US. At present, it is difficult to cooperate to cope with “gray zone” operations, and international forces play little role in reducing such coercive activities.