Peace through Joint Marine and Cruise Tourism in the Disputed South China Sea Islands: Opportunities and Challenges

In: Cooperation and Engagement in the Asia-Pacific Region

Abstract

China opened the disputed Paracel Islands to marine and cruise tourism in April 2013. Although the cruise route was established for a variety of purposes, helping assert China’s territorial and maritime claims to the disputed islands in the South China Sea is considered an important one with political and diplomatic implications. This type of so-called “patriotic tourism” has the potential to increase tensions in the South China Sea. It also gives rise to problems for successful implementation of the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road Initiative. This chapter explores the idea of promoting joint marine and cruise tourism in the disputed South China Sea areas so that peace, stability and prosperity can be enhanced through maritime cooperation and development in this important East Asian semi-enclosed sea.

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