South China Sea Dispute

#GS-2 #IR #INDIA AND ITS NEIGHBOURING STATES

 Disputes over south china sea 

  • In 2020, Philippine government has decided to resume oil exploration in its exclusive economic zone, a 320-km stretch of waters where a coastal state can exclusively exploit maritime resources under the 1982 U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea. 
  • This includes Reed Bank, which China also claims. This region is located in the disputed South China Sea. 

About the dispute 

  • It is a dispute over territory and sovereignty over ocean areas, and the Paracels and the Spratlys - two island chains claimed in whole or in part by a number of countries. 
  • Alongside the fully fledged islands, there are dozens of rocky outcrops, atolls, sandbanks and reefs, such as the Scarborough Shoal. 

Who Claims What? 

  • China: claims by far the largest portion of territory – an area defined by the “nine-dash line” which stretches hundreds of miles south and east from its most southerly province of Hainan. 
  • Vietnam: hotly disputes China‟s historical account, saying China had never claimed sovereignty over the islands before the 1940s. Vietnam says it has actively ruled over both the Paracels and the Spratlys since the 17th Century - and has the documents to prove it. 
  • Philippines: both the Philippines and China lay claim to the Scarborough Shoal (known as Huangyan Island in China) – a little more than 100 miles (160km) from the Philippines and 500 miles from China. 
  • Malaysia and Brunei: They lay claim to territory in the South China Sea that they say falls within their economic exclusion zones, as defined by UNCLOS - the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. 
  • ○ Brunei does not claim any of the disputed islands, but Malaysia claims a small number of islands in the Spratlys.

Why in news 

  • The Philippines accused China of “incursion” after more than 200 militia boats were spotted near a disputed reef in the South China Sea, in a rare rebuke of its superpower neighbour. 
  • The Philippine coast guard detected the boats “in line formation” at the boomerang-shaped Whitsun Reef, around 320 km (175 nautical miles) west of Palawan Island on March 7. 

Maritime rights 

  • They call on the Chinese to stop this incursion and immediately recall these boats violating their maritime rights and encroaching into our sovereign territory. 
  • This is a clear provocative action of militarizing the area. These are territories well within Philippine Exclusive Economic Zone. 
  • The government was considering “appropriate action” to protect Filipino fishermen, the country‟s marine resources and maintain peace and stability in the area. 
  • Foreign Secretary had lodged a diplomatic protest over the ships. 
The Nine Dash Line and Its Basis in International Law - CHINA US Focus

 

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