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The Disputes Over The Spratly Islands

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Chapter Summary

In the South China Sea, China is also embroiled in both territorial and boundary disputes with its neighbouring States. But the key question is the territorial disputes over the Spratly Islands. This chapter focuses on the settlement of disputes over the sovereignty of the Spratly Islands. China claims all the islands in the Spratly archipelago based on discovery and occupation, treaty and estoppel. Vietnam claims ownership of the entire Spratly Islands mainly based on discovery and occupation. The Philippine Government claims to approximately 60 of islands in the Spratly archipelago based on discovery and proximity. Malaysia claims some of the islands in the Spratly region based on geographic proximity. Numerous variables related to the sovereignty disputes necessitate a much more complicated settlement framework to be designed. The assumed new framework to settle the sovereignty disputes over the Spratly Islands consists of three phases: two diplomatic and one judicial or quasi-judicial.

Keywords: China; sovereignty disputes; Spratly Islands; territorial and boundary disputes



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