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Chapter 8. Sovereignty as an Obstacle to Effective Oceans Governance and Maritime Boundary Making—The Case of the South China Sea

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Chapter Summary

This chapter argues that the fixation of bordering countries on sovereignty is misplaced because due to complex geography of South China Sea and the multiple bordering States, a conventional system of straight line maritime boundaries, which would allow maritime jurisdiction on the primary basis of sovereignty, will be impossible to achieve in many parts of the sea. United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea(LOSC) provides that islands are entitled to all maritime zones, including a continental shelf and EEZ, but that rocks, which cannot sustain human habitation or economic life of their own, "shall have no exclusive economic zone or continental shelf. Many delimitation situations involve presence of third States, and this is certainly the case in the Sea. Building effective regimes and establishing effective governance of the Sea has been hindered by the efforts of littoral countries to assert their national dominion over parts of the sea.

Keywords: continental shelf; Maritime; Oceans Governance; South China Sea; sovereignty



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