In the years to come, the South China Sea issue seems to be fore-ordained to remain one of Asia-Pacific key security challenges. Cur-rently, it is at complicated crossroads, and its future evolution to a great extent will be defined by the key regional actors – China and the United States. In this light, to trace the approaches undertaken by Bei-jing and Washington, offer insights into their current contradictions and assess their possibilities to shape future contours of the issue is a timely and valuable exercise.
A collection of papers of the international conference “Security and Cooperation in the South China Sea” incorporates the presentations of its participants – the most prominent and authoritative world-class specialists from the United States, Japan, India, Australia, the European Union and Russia who have long been studying the problems of this region. They examine the situation in Southeast Asia and the South China Sea from variousstandpoints, analyse the history of the conflict, its juridical and political aspects, and the involvement of great powers therein. The common element that unites the texts offered to the reader is the authors’ desire to find the mostoptimal ways to resolve the dangerous standoff, to make available for the governments of the countries of the region a sort of a “roadmap” to a world of stability and cooperation.