Major law and policy issues in the South China Sea are discussed mainly from the perspectives of leading American and European scholars in the study of the complex South China Sea disputes. The issues include regional maritime cooperation and regime building, Southeast Asian countries' responses to the Chinese assertiveness, China's historic claims, maritime boundary delimitation and excessive maritime claims, military activities and the law of the sea, freedom of navigation and its impact on the problem, the dispute between Vietnam and China, confidence-building measures and U.S.-Taiwan-China relations in the South China Sea, and Taiwan's role in the resolution to the South China Sea issues. Over the past three years, there have been several incidents in the South China Sea between the claimants, and also between the claimants and non-claimants over fisheries, collection of seismic data, exploration for oil and gas resources, and exercise of freedom of navigation. Third party concerns and involvement in the South China Sea disputes have been increasing as manifested in actions taken by the United States, India, and Japan. It is therefore important to examine South China Sea disputes from the legal and political perspective and from the view point of American and European experts who have been studying South China Sea issues for many years.