ASEAN, China and South China Sea: Alternative approach for security cooperation


  • Zhe Yang Post graduate student, Faculty of Philosophy, Law & Political Science, Shanghai Normal University, 200234, Shanghai, China
  • Suseela Devi Chandran Associate Professor, Faculty of Administrative Science & Policy Studies, Universiti Teknologi MARA, 40450 Shah Alam, Selangor, Malaysia
  • Yinliang Zhao Professor, School of Marxism, Shanghai Normal University, 200234 Shanghai, China



ASEAN-China, the South China Sea, non-traditional security cooperation, regional cooperation, path and rules


This article analyzes the status quo and cooperation mechanism between ASEAN and China, mainly, the non-traditional security issues in the South China Sea space (SCS). The non-traditional security threats confronting the SCS are complex, diverse and enormous. Amongst those are transnational maritime crimes, marine disaster threat, marine ecological environmental threat, and resource scarcity. Recent trends have demonstrated that the established regimes between ASEAN and China, for non-traditional security cooperation in the SCS, are fragmented mainly due to the absence of integrated and long-term mechanisms. Three reasons hinder the acceleration of the cooperation process: interference from outside powers, insufficient mutual political trust between China and ASEAN members, claimants and divergence of interests in advancing the Code of Conduct (COC) in the SCS. This article aims to analyze the problems and the causes existing between China and ASEAN in dealing with non-traditional security cooperation. It also examines the effectiveness of the rules-based cooperation mechanisms and offers a few recommendations. It is argued that ASEAN and China should take advantage of the low sensitivity of non-traditional security issues and high-quality development of the One Belt and One Road Initiative, to construct an integrated framework based on rules jointly and order for multilateral non-traditional security cooperation in the SCS. Three possible and workable measures are recommended to facilitate non-traditional security cooperation between ASEAN and China in the SCS. Both sides, primarily ASEAN member claimants, pursue an excellent willingness to cooperate and could promote functional cooperation, promote successful maritime cooperation modes as long-term cooperation mechanisms in the SCS, focus on strengthening the capacity-building of marine governance, and comprehensively establish a multilateral cooperation mechanism in marine environmental protection and fishery resources management.


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How to Cite

Yang, Z., Chandran, S. D., & Zhao, Y. (2023). ASEAN, China and South China Sea: Alternative approach for security cooperation. Bussecon Review of Social Sciences (2687-2285), 4(2), 25–31.



Interdisciplinary Studies