The United States asserts that China’s claims to sovereignty over the South China Sea “contradict” international law and denies that the Asian giant has “historic rights” over the region because it lacks “legal foundations”.
“China asserts its claims to inland waters, territorial sea, economic zone and continental shelf on the basis of the offshore group of islands as a whole. This is not permitted by international law. The US State Department said in a report on “islands” that the country claims to own, the extension of marine areas should be measured from the baselines. established by law.
In this sense, China claims sovereignty over a hundred underwater terrains, submerged under the sea, that are “outside the legal boundaries of the territorial sea of any country.” Moreover, these characteristics, as the report asserts, “are not subject to the claim of the right of sovereignty.”
“With the publication of this latest study, the United States made a new call to China to adjust its maritime claims with international law and stop its illegal and coercive activities in the South China Sea,” he said.
This includes, according to the report, any claim of sovereignty over the James Shoal Offshore Shallow, under Malaysian administration, Vanguard Bank – within Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone – or Macclesfield Bank, an atoll claimed by both China and Taiwan.
In addition, the report notes that these “unlawful marine claims” are added to low tide heights, such as the reefs of the Spratly Islands, the Mishef Reef, which are occupied and controlled by China and claimed by Taiwan, the Philippines, and Vietnam, or the Aungin Sands – Thomas Scholl II – Which “is outside the territorial sea and is not subject to appropriation under international law.”
Finally, he indicates that the country has used baselines, which define islands and their waters and submerged features within ocean space, to claim several groups of islands: Dongsha Qundao, Xisha Qundao, Zhongsha Qundao, and Nansha Qundao. The United States notes that this requirement “does not meet the geographical criteria” based on the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.
“These allegations seriously undermine the rule of law in the oceans and many of the globally recognized provisions of international law that are reflected in the Convention. For this reason, the United States and many other nations have rejected these allegations in favor of the international maritime order.
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