Asian governments tend to be more sensitive about their sovereignty than governments in the contemporary West. Therefore, when differences occur and disputes arise, Asian governments tend to insist that they be resolved through bilateral consultations and negotiations. The reality is that, very often, the differences and disputes remain unresolved after years and even decades of negotiations. When left unresolved, some of these disputes have a tendency to contaminate the bilateral relationship as a whole. This is a great pity, because the disputes may revolve around relatively minor issues compared to the many other areas in which the two countries have convergent interests. Asian governments should therefore consider resolving such disputes by other peaceful means.
What are other modalities for the peaceful resolution of disputes? They are: (i) conciliation; (ii) mediation; (iii) fact-finding; (iv) arbitration; and (v) adjudication.