||In the region of the South China Sea there lie the issue of the disputes among China and parts of the Southeast Asian nations over the sovereignty of the island features and maritime rights, and the issue of the competition between the rising China and the traditionally-leveraged U.S. The competition between the two great powers derives from their mentality to compete in the international structure of power distribution. However, it is also the international power structure constructed by the two great powers limits the choices of behavior of them, so that the U.S and China avoid the direct conflict conducted by the armed forces as they compete for the power in the region of South China Sea, and seek the opportunity to cooperate via bilateral mechanism between the U.S. and China, and via multilateral mechanisms which are participated by the regional states. The U.S.-China relation in the region is, then, a structural realistic relation.|
The article finds, in their structural realistic relation, the U.S. and China have competed with each other by strengthening the economic, political, and military presence of their own around the region of South China Sea, in order to limit the influence of each other. Meantime, on the foundation of their competition, the two great powers have cooperated, and sought to cooperate, with each other, via the approach and rhetoric of liberal institution, in order to shape the imagination of mutual interest, soften the mutual tension, and seek to limit the behavior of each other. The U.S. and China have also used the constructivist language to identify itself and each other, in order to compete for the qualification for regional competition and for the model of interaction. Thus, the strategy of the U.S. and China to interaction, although deriving from structural realist mentality, has been led to multifaceted approaches of competition and cooperation.
The article accesses that, albeit the U.S. and China compete for the leverage in the international power structure, the international power structure per se constructed by the U.S. and China still stabilizes the behavior of the two great powers. However, the competition and cooperation between the U.S. and China in the field of multilateral institutions might undergo the difficulties to manage the competition among the state actors involving the institutions, and so there is the potential that the competition and cooperation between the U.S. and China in the South China Sea would incline to more conflict and competition.