This chapter reviews current developments and explores the divergent and convergent forces influencing the implementation of joint development in the South China Sea. The South China Sea has become a strategic game between the major powers in the region and this is threatening the role of the relevant regional institution Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Some countries have raised concerns about the freedom of navigation and sea lines of communication (SLOC) in the South China Sea since they could threaten their long-term economic and strategic interests. In addition, different understandings and interpretations of the freedom of navigation are further complicating the issue, in particular over exclusive economic zones (EEZ). The Treaty of Amity of Cooperation (TAC), the DOC and the Guidelines for the Implementation of the DOC are regarded as the key regional tools to maintain peace and stability in the South China Sea.