As the situation develops in the South China Sea region, a new order is taking shape. Promoting the implementation of the DOC and maritime cooperation among China and ASEAN countries is a process that is conducive to increasing political trust, and the building of an order in the interest of all parties leads to stability and prosperity in the region. As argued by Ouyang Yujing, Director-general of Chinese Foreign Ministry’s Department of Boundary and Ocean Affairs, “the COC framework aims to establish rules in the South China Sea for all the littoral countries”, and “it will be an important node in the shaping of order in the South China Sea”.39
A cooperation mechanism in the South China Sea has both a rational legal basis as well as proper precedents. Of course, the political will of all parties is paramount to the success of such an endeavor. If all the parties in the South China Sea could look beyond issues of sovereignty or military confrontation to the potential advantages and benefits of cooperation, it can be expected that the South China Sea will become a more stable, prosperous and orderly place.