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Development and Settlement of Disputes, U-Shaped Line and Maritime Delimitation

China Should Uphold International Law to Win Support from Regional States

South China Sea

China Should Uphold International Law to Win Support from Regional States

Carlyle A. Thayer

People’s Daily Online

How to Convince Regional States That China Has “Indisputable Sovereignty” Over the South China Sea?

China’s top policy makers must have come to realize that China’s efforts to convince regional states that it has a firm claim to “historic rights” and “indisputable sovereignty” over the South China Sea has been less than successful. Since China has already settled many of its land border disputes with its neighbours, including Vietnam, the question arises why has China been so unsuccessful in resolving maritime territorial disputes with Southeast Asian states? Why have these disputes resulted in confrontation leading to rising tensions?

This article offers ten modest proposals that if implemented would result in a sea change in regional attitudes towards China. China would benefit by upholding international law.

First, China should accept that all regional states…

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