This book is a comprehensive political study of the South China Sea (SCS) disputes. With over US $5 trillion worth of trade passing through it every year and a history of military flashpoints, the SCS is invariably a hotbed of great power rivalry.

This book:

  • Traces the history of the disputes from the 19th century until recent developments;

  • Examines recent arbitrations including the ruling on the case filed by the Philippines at the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) at the Hague, the Netherlands;

  • Studies these disputes in a theoretical framework, utilising international relations theories, particularly realism, liberalism and constructivism;

  • Explores how the ASEAN states approach the SCS disputes, and analyses dispute settlement under international law.

Drawing on extensive fieldwork and interviews with experts and those directly involved with the disputes, this book is indispensable for students and researchers of maritime studies, security studies, politics and international relations, geopolitics and Asian studies.

chapter |16 pages


chapter 1|17 pages

A general overview of the disputes

chapter 2|20 pages

China’s claim and activities

chapter 4|17 pages

The July 2016 arbitral tribunal award

chapter 5|16 pages

The role of the United States and others

chapter |9 pages