Photo: Pixabay/zhuwei06191973

By Xu Xiaodong

Do a search Google on the South China Sea and likely as not you’ll encounter far more links about South China Sea “disputes” rather than “cooperation.” This shows that for most people disputes are the main features of the South China Sea.

This is not surprising. In recent years, a series of incidents in the South China Sea between China and other nations such as the Philippines and Vietnam have highlighted intensified competition for natural resources, unilateral activities by claimant states and foreign interventions. All these point to signs that a resolution of South China Sea disputes is fraught with difficulties.

Nevertheless, wasting energy on the dispute does not contribute to the sustainable development of the South China Sea. When faced with the reality that the dispute cannot be resolved amicably in the short run, only the rational and ordered development and utilization…

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