Beneath the Surface of Consensus: The Development of Confidence-Building Measures Between the PRC and ASEAN in the South China Sea Disputes

  • Moises Lopes de Souza
Part of the Critical Studies of the Asia-Pacific book series (CSAP)


This chapter describes how ASEAN member states’ mechanisms of decision-making have developed since the regional grouping’s inception. It details how concepts of confidence-building measures (CBMs) have given rise to contradictions within negotiation mechanisms developed to address the South China Sea disputes. It also recounts the historical process behind the creation of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) regional negotiation structure and shows the internal constraints and the nature of the problems the group faces as it seeks to progress from CBMs to preventive diplomacy (PD). Since its inception, the negotiating dynamic related to the South China Sea has experienced friction between states seeking a way to accommodate all interests and those motivated by individual gains. The first group includes the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) and Track II negotiation forums like the Indonesia Workshop, while the second includes more assertive states such as China.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Moises Lopes de Souza
    • 1
  1. 1.International Doctoral Program in Asia-Pacific StudiesNational Chengchi UniversityTaipeiTaiwan

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