Texas A&M Law Review


Hoa Nguyen

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Principled negotiation suggests that in any conflict there are interests that motivate a party’s claimed position. Identifying and focusing on these interests instead of the position itself is the best way to solve the underlying conflict, whether it concerns a family quarrel, a business contract, or an international settlement among nations. On the surface of the South China Sea dispute, China, Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei, and Taiwan all make conflicting claims over various features in the South China Sea, particularly the Spratly and Paracel Islands. However, in reality, each nation has particular interests in mind when asserting its claiming position. Although the countries share overlapping interests in the South China Sea, each of them weighs the interests differently. By applying principled negotiation to the South China Sea dispute, the parties involved would forget about their positions and work together to create a solution that addresses each nation’s concerns.

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