The South China Sea Disputes: Past, Present, and Future


The South China Sea Disputes: Past, Present, and Future


Georgia Southern University faculty member Nalanda Roy authored The South China Sea Disputes: Past, Present, and Future.


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Book Summary: The South China Sea has long been regarded as one of the most complex and challenging ocean-related maritime disputes in East Asia. Recently it has become the locus of disputes that have the potential of escalating into serious international conflicts. Historical mistrust, enduring territorial disputes, and competing maritime claims have combined to weaken an at least partially successful regional security structure. Issues of concern include territorial sovereignty; disputed claims to islands, rocks, and reefs; jurisdiction over territorial waters, exclusive economic zones, and the seabed; regional and international rights to use the seas for military purposes; maritime security; rapid economic development; and environmental degradation. The fear is that increasing competition for energy and other resources will exacerbate conflicts and further fuel nationalism and sovereignty issues in the region. The SCS has an integrated ecosystem and is one of the richest seas in the world in terms of marine flora and fauna: coral reefs, mangroves, sea-grass beds, fish, and plants. National economic security can be easily affected by conflicts occurring in major international trade routes like the SCS, or how such an unclear situation might even give rise to environmental challenges in the future. The book creates an understanding as to why this region is important not only to the claimants but to global powers like the United States and India. The book examines current and potential conflicts in the South China Sea, and also evaluates how conflicts have been “managed” to date and suggests as to how they might be better managed in the future.

This book concludes with recommendations for improving the situation in the region by ensuring a strong economic relationships, using high-resolution observation satellites, and undertaking joint development, and resource exploration etc.

Publication Date



Lexington Books


Lanham, MD

ISBN for this edition (13-digit)


The South China Sea Disputes: Past, Present, and Future
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