JOURNAL OF NATURAL RESOURCES ›› 2021, Vol. 36 ›› Issue (9): 2205-2218.doi: 10.31497/zrzyxb.20210904

• Theoretical Exploration on Territorial Space Security • Previous Articles     Next Articles

The development and regulation of marine territory in the South China Sea, China: Review and prospect

LIU Xuan-yu1,2(), LIU Yun-gang1   

  1. 1. School of Geography & the Center for Asian Geographical Studies, South China Normal University, Guangzhou 510631, China
    2. School of Geography and Planning, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510275, China
  • Received:2020-07-13 Revised:2020-12-17 Online:2021-09-28 Published:2021-09-15
  • Contact: LIU Yun-gang


The South China Sea (SCS) is the largest marginal seas in China, and also the area with the most problems in marine territories governance. Due to the fluidity of the sea and the fuzziness of the boundary, marine territory control have many characteristics different from that of the land. Marine territory governance mainly includes islands, sea areas, resource exploration and fisheries management. The territorial control of the SCS is particularly complex and sensitive due to the sovereignty and territorial disputes between China and its neighbors. Firstly, this paper teases out the relevant concepts of maritime territory and summarizes the connotation of maritime territory regulation. Based on the above, this paper discusses the issues related to territorial control and governance of the SCS, and then divides them into two groups, one is resource-ecological dimension, and the other is humanistic-institutional dimension, and the research progress of related issues is discussed in combination with the current dynamics of marine territory governance in the SCS. This paper believes that the future studies of marine territory governance in this water should mainly focus on three aspects, namely, regional development in the SCS, sea relations in the SCS, and the multi-scalar territorial governance in the SCS. This paper will play a positive role in clarifying the research topics of China's marine territory governance and management, and further improving China's marine territory optimization mechanism.

Key words: maritime territory, territory development, territory regulation, territory security, South China Sea