and the China relations. China’s interests in the troubled coastline include the control of the indo-
Pacific regional economy and protecting the off-shore oil fields.
Despite the long-lasting disputes involving conflicting economic and political interests between
the two powerful nations, none has employed military actions to change the situation affecting
the South China Sea (DeLisle 630). The countries that are party to the disputed territorial claims
and maritime control have existed peacefully. There are no reports of war regarding the regional
and economic conflicts since 2002. Therefore, the United States rationale in trying to alter the
approach to resolving the territorial claims lacks support. Most Chinese citizens interpreted the
U.S plan as an intention to replace Asia as a conscious strategy to the emerging China.
Research shows that the U.S prominence and influence has declined markedly following the rise
of China to its trade position in the Asian economy. In fact, China is the leading trade partner in
the Asian region (DeLisle 630). The U.S decline of influence has economic repercussions on its
position in the regional economy and foreign policy of the superpower. Hence, policy makers
might have come up with the multilateral approach to resolving the ASEAN territorial disputes.
Nonetheless, despite the rising tensions between the Chinese people and the U.S government,
numerous factors reduce the chance for war.
Several theories can explain the factors that result in war between states. Scholars assert that the
prevalence of international conflict is the basis of bargaining power. The global system will
always face disputes (McDevitt 177). The resolution of an individual conflict is the outcome of
the international bargaining power. Interstate level theories hold that war tends to break out when
a rising power threatens a declining regime in the overall position. From a statistical viewpoint,
some theorists focus on effects of democracy, government structure, trade, international
organization, and related variables in studying the advancement of inter-state disputes to war.