The South China Sea has become a focal point for US-China rivalry which makes it such a critical issue today. China's naval strategy demands control over the South China Sea for the various missions the navy has set itself. It justifies China's assertive actions that have been intended to press the ASEAN claimants, Vietnam and the Philippines in particular, to recognise Chinese sovereignty. The United States cannot accept Chinese control over the South China Sea, it has reacted to China's assertiveness by repositioning its forces in the Asia Pacific and strengthening security ties with the ASEAN claimants. ASEAN itself becomes sidelined in this rivalry and struggles to maintain its relevance, the proposals it has promoted to resolve the South China Sea dispute such as the code of conduct lose importance. Rather than discussing a resolution of the issue it would be more realistic to negotiate an agreement preventing incidents at sea or similar measure which would reduce the likelihood of conflict.
|Publication status||Published - 2012|