This South China Sea dispute is a multilateral dispute involving China, Vietnam, Taiwan, the Philippines, Malaysia, and Brunei. China began to assert itself in the South China Sea in the 1980s but also entered into discussions with the other states involved in the dispute. No settlement has been achieved, but a agreement of “amity and cooperation” stable status quo but progress toward some kind of settlement is complicated by the multilateral nature of the dispute and the natural resource potential of the region.
China’s nine-dash line boundary that dips deep into the South China Sea has always been shrouded in ministry and is the cause of great controversy in the multilateral dispute over the features in the South China Sea claimed by China, Taiwan (ROC), Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei, and the Philippines. New research based on documents held in the government archives of the Republic of China (Taiwan) reveal the origins of the dash-line boundary but does not clarify the exact meaning of this “line without a legend.”