China-ASEAN Relations Amidst Territorial Dispute, Maritime Conflict and Nationalism: Challenges and Prospects
Posted: 28 Jan 2013
Date Written: October 19, 2012
This paper looks at the impact of the rise of China on the geopolitical configuration and international relations in the East Asian region the main flashpoints of which include the high-profile disputes over the ownership of the islands, atolls, reefs, cays and islets in the South China Sea (SCS)/Biển Đông (East Vietnam Sea)/West Philippine Sea which reflect in a large part in reality resource conflicts. The rapid growth of China’s population, with an increase of more than ten million people per year, and the general shortage in energy resources to feed her rapid economic growth underlines the importance of the resource-rich SCS. In terms of geopolitics, the Spratlys occupy a highly important strategic position, the key to the control of the SCS and critical hub in China’s sea route transport connection with East Asia, West Asia and the Indian Ocean. Looking at the Spratlys and Paracels disputes as the major military-related security problem in the relations between China and ASEAN, the paper examines the challenges posed by China’s ascendance in the global arena in recent decades, in particular within the context of the changing ASEAN-China relations in terms of both geopolitical and economic terms, with special focus on the attendant problem of the conflict in the SCS and the critical issue of finding a solution to the conflict.
Keywords: South China Sea (SCS), China, ASEAN, UNCLOS, diplomacy, sovereignty
JEL Classification: F51, F52, F59, N45
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation