The overlapping claims of the littoral States on the jurisdiction of territorial waters and sovereignty of smaller islands have made South China Sea (SCS) a geopolitical lake with a perpetual sate of disputes and conflicts. SCS assumes the international strategic significance not merely because of its geographical location but also on account of its being the major sea lanes of communication and rich in oil and natural gas reserves. As a consequence, SCS transforms into an international geopolitical/strategic mess with the huge number of rival claimants in the milieu.
The SCS security dilemma is not only complex but also challenging. Given the role and policy-perceptions, the US and China have begun to emerge as the major powers capable of deciding the destiny of SCS. However, the constructive role of other littoral states cannot be reduced to lesser significance, in view of their increased sense of faith in multilateral dialogue option.
In view of geopolitical and strategic importance of SCS, this book throws light on sub-themes like the nature of the conflict, sources of claims and conflicts, China`s engagement, international maritime laws, different options of diplomacy, response from global powers and potentials of military escalation in the SCS region.