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U-Shaped Line and Maritime Delimitation

The South China Sea: Evolution of or Disregard for International Law?

South China Sea

The South China Sea: Evolution of or Disregard for International Law?

By Huy Duong and Tuan Pham

NAPSNet Policy Forum

In the article “The South China Sea: What China Could Say”, Mark Valencia has proposed a number of statements that China could make in justification of its stance in the South China Sea disputes. This article analyses some of those statements and concludes that they show that China’s stance is at odds with the current regime of international law in a way that cannot be addressed by rhetoric or justified as evolution of international law.

The Statements

*As stated in its Law on the Exclusive Economic Zone and the Continental Shelf, China claims historic rights in much of the South China Sea. This claim is symbolized by its nine-dashed line map. This claim includes sovereignty over all the islands, rocks, reefs and banks within this nine-dashed line. It also…

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