Responses to Sovereign Disputes in the South China SeaIntroductionA number of topical issues have emerged in relation to disputed territory within the South China Sea, affecting China’s relationship with its seafaring neighbours, and even its relations further afield with the usa, which has expressed its discontent with China’s recent actions. This note briefly explains the context to the current disputes in the South China Sea before reviewing each issue in turn.This area of the ocean is notoriously problematic, with rival claims to various islands and maritime zones being made by States, not least of which is China’s claim, which extends over almost all of the South China Sea.1 The South China Sea is a semi-enclosed sea of approximately 1.4 million square miles.2 First published in 1947, China’s claim over the South China Sea is signified on its maps by a U-shaped line composed of nine dashes. This nine-dash line has come to be infamous,3 and marks China’s claim to territorial waters which reach well beyond what most States consider to be its legitimate 12-nautical-mile (nm) zone.4 This line encroaches upon the 200-nm exclusive economic zones (eez) of Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei, and so, unsurprisingly, has caused
The International Journal of Marine and Coastal Law – Brill
Published: Feb 19, 2015
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