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China's Efforts in Deep Sea-Bed Mining: Law and Practice

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image of The International Journal of Marine and Coastal Law

The international deep sea-bed area, under the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, is named "the Area", which, together with its resources, is designated the common heritage of mankind. The International Seabed Authority (ISA), as the representative of mankind, manages all activities in the Area. China has been conducting deep sea-bed activities since the 1980s. It signed an exploration contract with the ISA and has obtained a mining zone block of 75,000 square kilometres in the Pacific sea-bed. This article aims to review and assess China's efforts in deep sea-bed exploration activities since the 1980s by looking at the questions of when China began its deep sea-bed activities and how it has been working with the International Seabed Authority. It will also examine why China has exerted, and continues to exert, efforts in the international sea-bed area, and what the implications of China's relevant law and practice are for the emergence and development of the international regime for deep sea-bed mining.


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