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28 The South China Sea

Keyuan Zou

From: The Oxford Handbook of the Law of the Sea

Edited By: Donald R. Rothwell, Alex G. Oude Elferink, Karen N. Scott, Tim Stephens

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved.date: 14 May 2021

Law of the sea — High seas — UNCLOS (UN Convention on the Law of the Sea)

This chapter assesses the legal regime of the South China Sea. It first discusses legal issues concerning the South China Sea, including sovereignty and territorial disputes, maritime disputes, the controversy over China's ‘U-shaped’ line, and the relation between conventional rights deriving from the UN Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (LOSC) and historic rights embodied in international customary law. It then considers the applicable international law in the South China Sea including the LOSC and regional arrangements such as the 2002 Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea. The final section considers the latest developments in the South China Sea including the Philippines v China case. It discusses the possibility of cooperation in the region between or amongst claimants as well as between ASEAN and China through feasible means, such as joint development, joint management of fishery resources, common responsibilities for the protection of the marine environment and cooperation in non-traditional security issues.

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