This chapter explores the prospect for joint development agreement (JDAs) in the South China Sea and asks whether the joint management of natural resources in the absence of a negotiated maritime delimitation constitutes a feasible strategy to de-escalate the maritime sovereignty disputes. Declining fish stocks in disputed East Asian waters have led to a further overexploitation of fisheries rather than the joint management of marine resources. Economic interests have influenced the South China Sea disputes. The semi-enclosed sea is economically important due to its fishing and hydrocarbon resources. Long-term fishing productivity in the South China Sea is declining due to over-fishing, coral reef damage and growing coastal pollution. Guaranteeing access to hydrocarbon resources remains a source of concern for Manila. Yet, wider geopolitical considerations have transformed the dynamics of the South China Sea disputes and once again confirmed the resource question as a source of inter-state competition rather than cooperation.