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The South China Sea Dispute: Formation of a Mediation Regime and Challenges for Management

  • Mikio OishiEmail author
Chapter
Part of the Asia in Transition book series (AT, volume 3)

Abstract

This chapter aims to explain the efforts to manage the South China Sea (SCS) dispute by employing the concept of mediation regime. Several important developments are taking place over or related to the SCS dispute. These are: the shift of the location of the contention among the disputants from the physical field to the diplomatic space within ASEAN, the incorporation of regional norms and values for the regulation of the behaviour of disputing parties, economic integration between China and ASEAN, the creation of mutually beneficial identities for the disputing parties and the efforts to re-frame the incompatible territorial claims. These developments and efforts can be considered as reflecting the functions of a mediation regime, which can be understood in terms of short-term crisis management, middle-term relationship management and long-term incompatibility management. Although the SCS mediation regime appears to have successfully managed the dispute, recent developments can be understood as the inroad of the alliance approach to the management of the SCS dispute. This approach promoted by the U.S. and accompanied with the ideas of the balance of power and deterrence works to undermine the integrative power of the SCS regime. Currently, the two approaches to managing this dispute are interacting with each other, and the final outcomes of the interaction depend on the wider bilateral relations between China and the U.S.

Keywords

Mediation regime Regulative function Discursive interaction Re-framing Absorbing tension Alliance 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Singapore 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Universiti Brunei DarussalamBandar Seri BegawanBrunei Darussalam

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