China’s Bid to Construct a ‘Maritime Community With a Shared Future’ in the South China Sea by Luc Minh Tuan

28 Nov 2023

The Diplomat published a new article titled “China’s Bid to Construct a ‘Maritime Community With a Shared Future’ in the South China Sea” and authored by Luc Minh Tuan, in which the future of China’s involvement at the South China Sea is further discussed.

In the article, the author states that China, led by President Xi Jinping, is actively working on a “Maritime Community with a Shared Future” (MCSF) in the region, focusing on economic, security, and cultural cooperation. The strategy includes “economicizing disputes,” such as joint development projects and economic initiatives. China’s methodical approach involves the International Land-Sea Trade Corridor (ILSTC) as a key economic project, coupled with efforts in securitization (joint patrols and exercises) and civilization (cultural initiatives) to consolidate influence in the South China Sea. Coordination among ASEAN countries is crucial to counterbalance China’s initiatives and safeguard regional maritime interests.

To this, Luc Minh Tuan further adds:

“In general, with a methodical approach following the three-pillar orientation, China’s construction of an MCSF in the South China Sea has been clearly demonstrated. Although ASEAN countries have taken precautions against the “securitization” pillar and have not participated in any of China’s “civilization” projects thus far, there have still been no specific moves to counterbalance China in the “economicization” pillar, led by the consolidation of the ILSTC. ASEAN counties must increase coordination capacity, lest China be allowed to define the “common denominator” of maritime interests of the entire region.”

You can find the full article here.

Image: Paul Hampton –