Dr. Harshita Sharma, Ms. Bhoomika Badlani


The South China Sea dispute presents a multifaceted geopolitical challenge, characterized by competing national interests and the imperative for international cooperation. This research paper offers a comprehensive analysis of the intricacies surrounding this contentious issue. The dispute involves a complex web of territorial claims by China, Taiwan, Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, and Brunei, each driven by distinct national interests. These interests encompass access to valuable resources, including fisheries and hydrocarbons, territorial sovereignty, and strategic advantages in controlling vital trade routes. Historical narratives, domestic pressures, and nationalist sentiments further fuel the competition among these nations, making compromise elusive. International cooperation efforts, anchored in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and spearheaded by regional organizations such as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), have sought to facilitate dialogue among claimant states. External powers, notably the United States, also play a significant role in balancing their interests while advocating for peaceful resolutions. However, the equilibrium between national interests and international cooperation remains fragile exacerbated by the involvement of major powers and the ongoing militarization of disputed features. This research paper explores the historical roots of the dispute, analyzes the economic, political, and strategic motivations driving each stakeholder, and assesses the effectiveness of international cooperation initiatives. By shedding light on the intricate dance between asserting national interests and nurturing international cooperation, this research contributes to a deeper understanding of one of the most significant geopolitical challenges of our time. It underscores the necessity of continued diplomatic efforts, adherence to established laws, and prioritizing dialogue over unilateral actions in the pursuit of a peaceful and sustainable resolution to the South China Sea dispute.

Keyword : South China Sea Dispute, National Interests, International Cooperation, Territorial Claims, UNCLOS (United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea), ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations), Diplomacy, Regional Security, Maritime Dispute, Geopolitics, Sovereignty, Conflict Resolution, Historical Context, Track-Two Diplomacy, People-to-People Initiatives, Geopolitical Tensions, Regional Stability, Arbitration, Code of Conduct (CoC), Multilateral Negotiations

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Apr 08, 2024
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