It's one of the most disputed regions in the world - a stretch of water contested by China, the biggest regional power.
As well as Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Phillipines, Taiwan and Vietnam.
Now, for the first time, an international tribunal has ruled that China has no legal basis to claim "historic rights" to resources in the South China Sea.
The Chinese government rejected the ruling before it was even released.
Will the ruling further inflame tensions in Southeast Asia?
And what kind of legal precedent does it set for other countries?
Presenter: Sami Zeidan
Einar Tangen - Lawyer and political affairs analyst
Ashley Townshend - Research fellow at the United States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney
Richard Heydarian - Author of Asia's New Battlefield: US, China and the Struggle for the Western Pacific
Source: Al Jazeera