This book suggests that security dilemmas apply in the South China Sea (SCS). The security dilemmas are first between China and other SCS claimants and between China and the US. In the security dilemma between China and other claimants, China defected to offensive realism. The defection is manifested in two actions, namely the establishment of control over Scarborough Shoal in 2012 and the massive construction of artificial islands in 2014–2015. However, the security dilemma between China and the US has not reached the stage of defection.
Theoretically, this book provides significant supports to defensive realist theory vis-à-vis offensive realism. Strategically, it encourages the policy of reassurance in the SCS for China, other claimants, and the US.