South China Sea Disputes: Litmus Test for China’s Peaceful Rise—How US Scholars View South China Sea Issues
Xue Li interviewed 14 prominent US scholars to probe how China’s pursuit of its nine-dash line territorial claim in the South China Sea will impact China. The US favors legal mechanisms and multilateral negotiations to resolve disputes, and an interim legally binding Code of Conduct. No actual development activity should precede agreement to joint development among disputants. And the USA will insist on freedom of navigation and the peaceful resolution of disputes. China’s behavior will decide whether or not China will be considered a trustworthy leading power. Xue Li suggests that Chinese leaders need to take this into account in the South China Sea.