Vietnam rejects China’s “Four Sha” claims in East Sea

In late 2019 and early 2020 China announced its “Four-Sha” sovereignty claims over the East Sea in two diplomatic notes sent to the UN Secretary-General, 

with the aim of replacing the so-called “nine-dash line” that had been previously rejected by the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA).

Vietnam rejects China’s “Four Sha” claims in East Sea hinh anh 1

Associate Professor and Doctor Vu Thanh Ca, former Director of the Vietnam Institute for Sea and Island Research (Source: laodong.vn)

It claimed in the notes that it holds “undeniable sovereignty” over the Dongsha (Pratas Islands), Xisha (Vietnam’s Hoang Sa (Paracel) Archipelago), Nansha (Vietnam’s Truong Sa (Spratly) Archipelago), and Zhongsha (Macclesfield Bank) Archipelagos.

China said those are archipelagos so it can use the straight baselines to define baselines and waters, adding that these groups of islands have archipelagic waters, territorial waters, 200-nautical-mile exclusive economic zones, and continental shelves calculated from the straight baselines.

Many scholars, however, declared that China’s claims are completely contrary to international law, especially the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

Associate Professor and Doctor Vu Thanh Ca, former Director of the Vietnam Institute for Sea and Island Research, said China is not an island state that is formed by one or more archipelagos.

Therefore, he said, drawing a straight baseline to connect islands outside of the four above-mentioned archipelagos runs counter to UNCLOS.

He took the so-called Zhongsha Archipelago (Macclesfield Bank) as an example, saying that the shoal, at a depth of at least 9.2 metres, cannot be the subject of a declaration of sovereignty under the Convention.

 

Ca quoted scholar and journalist Bill Hayton from the UK’s Chatham House as saying that China made a mistake when translating the words “bank” or “shoal” from English to “island” and “sand-bank” in Chinese. So it then named Macclesfield Bank as “Nansha Archipelago” and then renamed it “Zhongsha Archipelago” in 1947.

China recently included several shoals, such as Scarborough Shoal and St. Esprit Shoal, into the so-called Zhongsha, he said, stressing that the expansion is not persuadable as these shoals are actually located quite far from the Macclesfield Bank.

The 2016 PCA ruling clarified UNCLOS’s “fit for living” concept and stated that islands in the Spratly Archipelago are only rock islands, thus having no exclusive economic zones or continental shelves, Ca said.

Similarly, the Paracel and the Pratas Islands are rock islands without exclusive economic zones or continental shelves.

By using the tactic of making the “Four Sha” claims (Dongsha, Xisha, Nansha, and Zhongsha), China attempted to take advantage of UNCLOS’s terms to rewrite the Convention, he emphasised.

Combined with using its military power to harass and its economic power to bribe countries both inside and outside of the East Sea, China wishes to turn its illogical arguments into reality to monopolize the waters, Ca believes.

Such claims were rejected by Vietnam in its own diplomatic note sent to the UN Secretary-General, in which it resolutely affirmed its sovereignty, sovereign rights and jurisdiction, and other legitimate rights in the East Sea. Vietnam also asserted that UNCLOS is the only legal basis with comprehensive and thorough regulations on the territorial rights of territorial waters between Vietnam and China./.VNA

 
 

Other News

.
US sanctions Chinese firms, individuals for illegal construction of artificial islands in East Sea
US sanctions Chinese firms, individuals for illegal construction of artificial islands in East Sea
MARITIME SOVEREIGNTYicon  27/08/2020 

The Bureau of Industry and Security in the US Department of Commerce announced yesterday that it added 24 Chinese companies to the Entity List for their involvement in the illegal construction of artificial islands in the East Sea.

China’s military exercises in Hoang Sa Archipelago violate Vietnam’s sovereignty
China’s military exercises in Hoang Sa Archipelago violate Vietnam’s sovereignty
MARITIME SOVEREIGNTYicon  26/08/2020 

China’s organisation of consecutive military exercises in the waters to the north-northeast of Vietnam’s Hoang Sa archipelago has violated Vietnam’s sovereignty over the archipelago, said Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Le Thi Thu Hang.

US Defence Secretary protests provocative acts in East Sea
US Defence Secretary protests provocative acts in East Sea
MARITIME SOVEREIGNTYicon  28/08/2020 

US Secretary of Defence Mark Esper on August 26 warned that China’s plan to modernise military forces will embolden its provocative behaviours in the East Sea.

Hoang Sa, Truong Sa - inseparable parts of Vietnam: Foreign Ministry spokesperson
Hoang Sa, Truong Sa - inseparable parts of Vietnam: Foreign Ministry spokesperson
MARITIME SOVEREIGNTYicon  20/08/2020 

Vietnam has affirmed many times and reiterated that the Hoang Sa (Paracel) and Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelagos are inseparable parts of its territory, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Le Thi Thu Hang has said.

US discusses with Philippines, Malaysia on East Sea
US discusses with Philippines, Malaysia on East Sea
MARITIME SOVEREIGNTYicon  07/08/2020 

US Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo held talks with his Philippine counterpart on August 6 to update the latter on recent changes in US policy on maritime claims in the East Sea, 

Vietnam condemns China’s illegal moves, confirms respect for international law in East Sea
Vietnam condemns China’s illegal moves, confirms respect for international law in East Sea
MARITIME SOVEREIGNTYicon  07/08/2020 

Vietnam called out China on a range of reports alleging China's illegal moves in the East Sea and the two archipelagos that Vietnam sees as its own.

Malaysian FM stresses ASEAN’s solidarity in solving East Sea issue
Malaysian FM stresses ASEAN’s solidarity in solving East Sea issue
MARITIME SOVEREIGNTYicon  07/08/2020 

Malaysian Foreign Minister Hishammuddin Hussein has emphasised the solidarity of ASEAN countries in solving disputes in the East Sea.

Singapore, US back settlement of East Sea disputes under international law
Singapore, US back settlement of East Sea disputes under international law
MARITIME SOVEREIGNTYicon  04/08/2020 

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has reiterated US support for Southeast Asian states upholding their sovereign rights and interests in the East Sea under international law.

US, Indonesia highlight international law abidance in East Sea
US, Indonesia highlight international law abidance in East Sea
MARITIME SOVEREIGNTYicon  04/08/2020 

US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo and Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi discussed bilateral defence ties and regional tensions over China’s claim that it owns most of the East Sea, 

US reaffirms opposition to China’s unlawful claims in East Sea
US reaffirms opposition to China’s unlawful claims in East Sea
MARITIME SOVEREIGNTYicon  06/08/2020 

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on August 4 held a phone talk with Bruneian Foreign Minister II Erywan Yusof, 

Book on Vietnamese sea, islands published in Japan
Book on Vietnamese sea, islands published in Japan
MARITIME SOVEREIGNTYicon  01/08/2020 

A book on Vietnam's sea and island sovereignty has been released in Japan.

Indonesia urges China to respect UNCLOS
Indonesia urges China to respect UNCLOS
MARITIME SOVEREIGNTYicon  01/08/2020 

Indonesia has expressed concern over escalating tensions in the East Sea and urged China to obey international law, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), to settle disputes.

Malaysia rejects China’s claim to maritime features in East Sea
Malaysia rejects China’s claim to maritime features in East Sea
MARITIME SOVEREIGNTYicon  01/08/2020 

The Permanent Mission of Malaysia to the United Nations on July 29 sent a note verbale to the UN Secretary General, saying China’s claim to the maritime features in the East Sea has no basis under international law.

AUSMIN 2020: China’s maritime claims not valid under international law
AUSMIN 2020: China’s maritime claims not valid under international law
MARITIME SOVEREIGNTYicon  30/07/2020 

China’s maritime claims are not valid under international law, according to the Joint Statement on Australia-US Ministerial Consultations (AUSMIN) 2020 released on July 28.

East Sea dispute: Australia says Beijing's claims have no legal basis
East Sea dispute: Australia says Beijing's claims have no legal basis
MARITIME SOVEREIGNTYicon  26/07/2020 

Australia tells the UN the claims have "no legal basis" as it aligns itself more closely with the US.

Book on Vietnam’s sea, island sovereignty released in Japan
Book on Vietnam’s sea, island sovereignty released in Japan
MARITIME SOVEREIGNTYicon  24/07/2020 

A book on Vietnam’s Hoang Sa (Paracel) and Truong Sa (Spratly) Archipelagoes has been translated into Japanese by Professor Kazutaka Hashimoto from the Kanto Gakuin University and released in the country.

Vietnam asks for better sea dispute management, enhanced trade cooperation with China
Vietnam asks for better sea dispute management, enhanced trade cooperation with China
MARITIME SOVEREIGNTYicon  22/07/2020 

Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh has expressed concerns over the recent complicated developments over the East Sea with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi on Tuesday.

Brunei stresses significance of UNCLOS to dispute settlement in East Sea
Brunei stresses significance of UNCLOS to dispute settlement in East Sea
MARITIME SOVEREIGNTYicon  22/07/2020 

The Brunei Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Brunei Darussalam) has reaffirmed its commitment to the maintenance of peace, stability and prosperity in the region.

Malaysia: East Sea issue must be managed in peaceful, rational manner
Malaysia: East Sea issue must be managed in peaceful, rational manner
MARITIME SOVEREIGNTYicon  21/07/2020 

Malaysia stands firm on its position that the East Sea issue must be managed in a peaceful and rational manner through dialogue and consultation.

Vietnam reaffirms sovereignty over Spratly and Paracels islands
Vietnam reaffirms sovereignty over Spratly and Paracels islands
MARITIME SOVEREIGNTYicon  16/07/2020 

Vietnam has a full legal foundation and historical evidence to back up its sovereignty claims over the Truong Sa (Spratly) and Hoang Sa (Paracel) islands and calls for all countries to respect international law.

 
 
 
Leave your comment on an article

OR QUICK LOGIN