Calming the Waters of the South China Sea: Solving Territorial Disputes over Artificial Islands


  • Arjun Anand Westhill High School
  • Lisa Forbes Mentor, Westhill High School



South China Sea, artificial islands, ASEAN, UN, UNCLOS, intergovernmental organizations, China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Philippines


The South China Sea region has been a site of conflict for decades, with numerous states holding competing territorial claims due to its abundance of resources and strategic importance. Recently, China’s construction of artificial islands in the South China Sea has escalated tensions in the region and has strained efforts to bring peace. This paper observes the role of intergovernmental organizations such as the United Nations (UN) and the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) in resolving the conflict in the South China Sea. First, this paper studies the ASEAN-China code of conduct, the dispute management approach currently being negotiated between ASEAN and China. This code of conduct will govern the conduct of the countries involved in the South China Sea disputes. Furthermore, this paper proposes key provisions that should be incorporated into this code of conduct to make it more effective. Second, this paper reviews the conflicting views of ASEAN member states that impede the creation and adoption of the code of conduct. To conclude, this paper recommends an alternative solution through the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), proposing that the conciliation procedure provided in UNCLOS be adopted to resolve the long standing South China Sea disputes.


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Author Biography

Lisa Forbes, Mentor, Westhill High School

Chair of Social Studies Department

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How to Cite

Anand, A., & Forbes, L. (2021). Calming the Waters of the South China Sea: Solving Territorial Disputes over Artificial Islands. Journal of Student Research, 10(3).



HS Research Articles