For China, they are in somewhat uncharted waters


Senior Member
"For China, they are in somewhat uncharted waters, for at least this generation of policy makers,” said the official, who characterized the sinking as an “extraordinarily serious armistice violation.” ---taken from the NYT

Dear all,

I have trouble with the bold part. I may understand its seeming meaning, but fail to catch up with its figurative meaning. Does it suggests that Chinese leaders are not sure what to do on this issue? May I have your opinion? Thanks.

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    Senior Member
    American English
    Yes, you are correct. Uncharted waters refers literally to waters that are not charted, so boat or ship captains don't know what dangers lie ahead -- reefs, sand bars, shipwrecks, currents, etc. So they have to be cautious so as not to get their ships in trouble.
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