Marine environment cooperation in the South China Sea: lessons from the Baltic Sea experience

LI Lingqun1

(1.Collaborative Innovation Center of South China Sea Studies, Nanjing University, Nanjing, Jiangsu 210093)

【Abstract】The South China Sea has seen some positive development recently. In the past two years, parties to the South China Sea dispute have taken great effort to manage differences while the negotiation over a Code of Conduct is heading in the right direction. These developments create favorable conditions for promoting functional cooperation between China and ASEAN in the South China Sea. Among the many alternatives of maritime cooperation, China and ASEAN should prioritize marine environment protection considering the pro-cooperation advantages and the preliminary status of regional maritime cooperation. After investigating the four-decade experience of marine environment protection in the Baltic Sea Area, the paper proposes three core elements as the foundation for building a regional marine environment protection mechanism. Establishing a legal framework for marine environment protection and the related marine environment protection mechanism would help reinvigorate existing sporadic efforts of maritime cooperation in the region, thus paving the way for a long-term, institutionalized and overarching regime of marine cooperation in the South China Sea.

【Keywords】 South China Sea; the Baltic Sea; marine environment protection; Code of Conduct in the South China Sea;


【Funds】 National Social Sciences Fund of China (15CGJ029)

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(Translated by HE wenshan)


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This Article


CN: 35-1054/C

Vol , No. 04, Pages 45-58

December 2018


Article Outline


  • 1 Realistic foundation and path choice of marine environment cooperation in the South China Sea
  • 2 Cooperation practices on environmental protection in the Baltic Sea
  • 3 Building cornerstones for the cooperation in marine environmental protection in the South China Sea
  • 4 Conclusion
  • Footnote