The US State Department’s Department of Ocean Boundary has released a comprehensive outline of the US government’s views on China’s maritime claims in the South China Sea.
The South China Sea is a large, semi-enclosed sea that surrounds Brunei, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, and Vietnam. China, under its broad “nine-dash-line” and “four sha” policies, claims sovereignty over vast swathes of water, including areas located hundreds of nautical miles from Chinese shores. The Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague dismissed these claims in a landmark ruling in 2016, but China largely ignored the court’s decision and decided to shore up its territorial presence, build militarized island outposts and maintain its maritime militia. worked to increase it.
The 47-page State Department report “Limits in the Seas” is the latest in a long series of status papers compiled and released by the Department of Oceans and the International Bureau of Environmental and Scientific Affairs. The last time the bureau published a paper on China’s maritime claims was in 2014, and the new report reflects a number of changes over the past eight years, which is twice as long.
In the study, the bureau provides a detailed review of current US policy on South China Sea maritime claims. It asserts that Beijing’s claim on more than a hundred land features that disappear beneath the surface of the sea at high tide is invalid, as they are not subject to any national claim. This means that they are not able to generate any maritime zones that extend from a country’s coastline, such as the territorial sea or EEZ.
The State Department also rejected China’s use of a direct baseline to encircle large parts of the South China Sea within its territorial seas. “None of the four ‘island groups’ claimed by the PRC in the South China Sea meet the geographical criteria for using a direct baseline under … [UNCLOS]The question is of new relevance because of China’s developing interest in using island-based claims as the basis for its jurisdiction over the waters of the South China Sea, the bureau noted, in its landmark 1947 “nine-dash” Dependency retreat line” chart made by Kuomintang cartographers.
You. s. state department
The bureau also rejected China’s claim that it has “historic rights” over waters in the South China Sea, noting that UNCLOS has no such category.
“The overall effect of these maritime claims is that the PRC (People’s Republic of China) illegally claims sovereignty or any exclusive jurisdiction over much of the South China Sea. These claims are governed by the rule of law in the oceans and many of the international law. seriously undermine the universally recognized provisions,” the bureau said.
In a response released on Thursday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin reiterated China’s views on ownership of the South China Sea. “The media note and the US side study misrepresent international law to mislead the public, mislead right and wrong, and distort the regional situation,” Weinbin said. “China’s Nanhai Zhudao” [South China Sea Islands] There are internal waters, territorial seas, contiguous zones, exclusive economic zones, and continental shelf.”