Posted: June 16th, 2022
Chinese maritime policies for its near seas and relationship context with international maritime laws
Chinese maritime policies for its near seas and relationship context with international maritime laws- conflict of core objectives?
China has a long history of maritime trade and navigation, and in recent years, it has become increasingly active in the near seas region, including the South China Sea, the East China Sea, and the Yellow Sea. As a result, China’s maritime policies have attracted significant attention from other countries, as well as from international organizations such as the United Nations.
One of the main objectives of China’s maritime policies is to protect its sovereignty and territorial integrity. This includes ensuring the security of its territorial waters and exclusive economic zone (EEZ), as well as safeguarding its interests in disputed territories such as the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea and the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea. To achieve these objectives, China has developed a number of measures, including the deployment of coast guard vessels and the construction of artificial islands and military facilities in disputed areas.
However, China’s maritime policies have also been the subject of controversy and criticism, as they have been seen by some as conflicting with international maritime laws and norms. For example, China’s claims to sovereignty over disputed territories in the South China Sea have been disputed by other countries in the region, such as the Philippines and Vietnam. China’s construction of artificial islands and military facilities in these areas has also been seen as a violation of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), which requires that such activities be carried out in a manner that does not harm the marine environment.
In addition to issues related to sovereignty and territorial integrity, China’s maritime policies have also been criticized for their impact on the freedom of navigation and overflight in the near seas region. China has been accused of using its coast guard vessels and military facilities to disrupt the normal operations of other countries’ vessels and aircraft, and of interfering with the exercise of their rights under UNCLOS.
Despite these conflicts and controversies, China has also demonstrated a willingness to engage with other countries and international organizations on issues related to its maritime policies. For example, it has participated in regional forums such as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the East Asia Summit, and it has also signed a number of bilateral and multilateral agreements on maritime cooperation, such as the China-ASEAN Free Trade Agreement and the China-Japan-South Korea Trilateral Cooperation Agreement.
China’s maritime policies in the near seas region reflect a complex mix of objectives and interests, including the protection of its sovereignty and territorial integrity, the promotion of economic development and regional stability, and the preservation of its maritime rights and interests under international law. While there are certainly conflicts and areas of disagreement, there are also opportunities for cooperation and dialogue, and it is important for all parties to work together to find ways to address these issues in a constructive and mutually beneficial manner.