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Sharing the Resources of the South China Sea

Sharing the Resources of the South China Sea

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All of the national claims to South China Sea area islands and ocean space have weaknesses. The dangerous and unstable state created by the unilateral actions of claimants and by the continuing opportunities for outside powers' involvement demand an appropriate measure. This book offers several possible regional interim solutions. The authors propose a regional multinational solution for part of the area because other alternatives appear impractical. Division or allocation of the features and ocean space among the competing claimants seems unfeasible because of sharp disagreements over the boundaries in dispute and over the appropriate equitable division. Serial bilateral negotiations might resolve some conflicting claims but would leave or create others; they also present problems of cost and efficiency. An institutionalized dialogue would add structure and stability to the discussions, and confidence-building measures (CBMs) could help move the situation forward, but neither would suffice as a solution. The creation of a regional multilateral resource management body could reduce the rife regional tension, however. Many international and regional precedents provide valuable lessons for regime-building in the South China Sea. The illustrations presented stimulate constructive discussion of a comprehensive multilateral interim solution to these difficult and dangerous conflicts. This book will interest and assist decision-makers, negotiators, and academics desirous of a peaceful solution to these disputes.