Enduring disputes over land boundaries, sovereignty of offshore islands and maritime boundaries between China and many of her neighbours remain unresolved. As a most sensitive issue in China＇s relations with her neighbours, these outstanding disputes obviously are obstacles to the Belt and Road Initiative proposed by China in 2013. In general, such an Initiative can improve China＇s relations with the disputant states, and create favourable environment for cooperation on conflict management or dispute resolution. However, impacts of this Initiative on the policies of some states over the disputes should not be overestimated. In fact, it can very likely induce a few of them and some third party states to take more provocative actions. As a result, China should formulate an overall policy on territorial and boundary disputes, taking into account the dynamics between different land and maritime boundary disputes; it should adhere to peaceful talks, effectively manage conflicts and maintain peace and security; it should handle the disputes on a case by case basis, and progressively move forward negotiations over delimitation, joint development and cross-bordercooperation.
Journal of Boundary and Ocean Studies
Belt and Road Initiative