The interplay of power politics in the SCS shows that elements of IR theories – realism, liberalism and constructivism – as well as the ASEAN resolution mechanism have some degree of relevance and importance. The competing and/or overlapping claims have made it harder to find a mutually agreeable plan to pursue or to adopt one single strategy toward dispute management and conflict settlement. Given the past instances of confrontation and the imbalance of power between China and the other claimant states, the ASEAN Way of dispute management becomes an important channel of communication, and more importantly for the prevention of military conflict. While initiative such as the COC is helpful to manage the conflict, a peaceful solution to the SCS disputes will require compromises and sacrifices from all claimant states, as well as the support and cooperation of other regional and international naval powers which have direct or indirect interest in the issue.