China-ASEAN Disputes on South China Sea and the Implication of US Involvement

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Abdullahi Ayoade Ahmad, Mohd. Afandi Bin Salleh, Suyatno Ladiqi


The current development in the South China Sea (SCS) between China and United States has become a competing and flexing muscles field with various naval military technologies. China laid claims to large swathes of sea and land formations amounts to over three quarter of the whole South China Sea. The United States and consideredChinese claims illegal in International Law of the Sea. As a result, US increased the frequency of its Freedom of Navigation Operations (FONOPS) on SCS.The roles played by South China Sea in economy and security are so significant to the region and the world, it was estimated at US$5 trillion per annual. Tensions and confrontation seems dangerous to the smoothness and peaceful navigation of the sea at present, especially, at the time when the world is experiencing the presence of Covid-19 pandemic at every level. As such, the paper is investigated various disputes between China and the ASEAN counterparts on South China Sea. It will further shed light on the reason why various early measures have failed to resolve the issue, the implication of the US involvement, and weather such involvement is also supported by ASEAN. Analytical and historical methods are applied in carrying out the research. The research found that the SCS remained a difficult issue to merely resolved, hence the unity of ASEAN to make concrete decision is not feasible, while the position of US is also unpredictable. It is recommended that the Unity of ASEAN with one voice is paramount to solution to SCS otherwise, the danger of using the region as a war zone will be imminent.

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