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Chapter 12. Perspectives on East China Sea Maritime Disputes: Issues and Context

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Chapter Summary

This chapter, in the wake of a diplomatic row caused by the collision of a Chinese fishing vessel with Japan Coast Guard ships, attempts to examine the sources and unravel the different aspects of longstanding East China Sea maritime disputes. The issues of ownership over the Senkaku Islands and the legal status of the Okinawa Trough lie at the core of maritime disputes between China and Japan in the East China Sea. The disputes primarily concern the extent of their respective exclusive economic zones (EEZs) and continental shelves, with the application of different maritime boundary delimitation principles to their own advantage, and granting different legal effects to the disputed islands. Apparently the "Principled Consensus" between China and Japan is a significant achievement toward efforts of making the East China Sea 'a sea of peace, cooperation and friendship', given ensued conflicts over the exploration and exploitation of energy resources.

Keywords: Chinese fishing vessel; East China Sea maritime disputes; EEZs; energy resources; Japan; maritime boundary delimitation principles; Senkaku islands



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