It is a big challenge for me to write this book. Although I have been working on South China Sea studies for more than two decades and published several monographs and numerous articles on South China Sea issues and the Spratly disputes, all these are in Chinese. This is the first time I have written a book on the South China Sea in English. My motivation is that the topical issue of the South China Sea is never discussed thoroughly in academia and is worth further exploring, driven by the latest developments in the South China Sea, which has again become a flashpoint, drawing considerable international attention and concern. It has been a long process to complete the manuscript, given my workload and duties as president of the National Institute for South China Sea Studies, as well as director general of the Foreign Affairs Office of Hainan province. I would not have been able to accomplish this project without full support from my colleagues as well as my family. Many of my colleagues at the institute contributed their efforts, one way or another, to the completion of the book by providing research materials or translations of difficult geographic names from Chinese into English. I name just a few here who deserve my sincere appreciation: Li Xiuling, Chen Pingping, Yan Yan, Li Jianwei, Hong Nong, Xu Fang and Zhang Xinyue. Chow Wan Ee from Peking University made great efforts in proofreading at the final stage of the book project. My special appreciation also goes to my old friend Professor Keyuan Zou, Harris Chair in International Law at the University of Central Lancashire, for his brilliant academic advice and helpful comments. Finally, I thank my family, who always stand on my side, for giving me persistent support and understanding. As a token of appreciation, I dedicate this book to them.