The South China Sea is a major strategic waterway for trade and oil shipments to Japan, Korea as well as southern China. It has been the focus of a maritime dispute which has continued now for over six decades, with competing claims from China, Vietnam, the Philippines, Indonesia and Brunei. Recently China has become more assertive in pressing its claims – harassing Vietnamese fishing vessels and seizing reefs in the Philippine claim zone. China has insisted that it has "indisputable sovereignty" over the area and has threatened to enforce its claim. All of this is unsettling and draws in the United States which is concerned about freedom of navigation in the area. The US has been supporting the Philippines and has been developing security ties with Vietnam as a check upon China. This book examines the conflict potential of the current dispute, it discusses how the main claimants and the United States view the issue, and assesses the prospects for a resolution of the problem.
Table of Contents
Introduction 1. The Origins and Development of the South China Sea Maritime Dispute Leszek Buszynski 2. Adrift on Complex Waters: Geographical, Geopolitical and Legal Dimensions to the South China Sea Disputes Clive Schofield 3. The 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea and its Relevance to Maritime Disputes in the South China Sea Donald R. Rothwell 4. China’s South China Sea Policy: Evolution, Claims and Challenge Jian Zhang 5. Vietnam’s Evolving Claims in the South China Sea Do Thanh Hai 6. The 2012 Scarborough Shoal Stand-Off: From Stalemate to Escalation of the South China Sea Dispute? Renato Cruz De Castro 7. ASEAN: the Challenge of Unity in Diversity Christopher B. Roberts 8. The US Rebalance to Asia and the South China Sea Disputes Ralf Emmers 9. Australia’s Interests in the South China Sea Michael Wesley 10. The South China Sea as a ‘Crisis’ Brendan Taylor 11. The South China Sea: Stabilization and Resolution Leszek Buszynski and Christopher B. Roberts Conclusion
Leszek Buszynski is a Visiting Fellow at the National Security College, Australian National University, Canberra, Australia.
Christopher B. Roberts is Associate Professor and Director of Executive Development at the Australian Defence Force Academy campus of the University of New South Wales, Canberra, Australia.