The thesis of this study is that technology has become a key influence on national policies. By defining what is possible and creating new capabilities, technology creates an imperative for its use - a technological imperative - and thereby influences human choices and policy decisions. This concept is illustrated in an examination of Chinese policies towards the Spratly Islands, a broad area of tiny islands, atolls and reefs in the South China Sea which are claimed by five nations: China, Vietnam, Malaysia, the Philippines and Taiwan. Each of these countries has occupied military outposts on the islands. This expanding militarization of the archipelago could result in a military conflict and is an issue of growing regional concern. China, Spratly Islands, South China Sea, Chinese Navy, Offshore oil, Technology, Law of the Sea, Territorial disputes. South East Asia.